Pahlgam Panikar via Amarnath Tour

Duration : 10 Days / 09 Nights
Destinations : Pahlgam - Chandavari - Pissu Top - Sheesnag - Panchtarni - Amarnath - Panchtarni - Sheesnag - Rangmarg - Wandkadal - Kanital - Sagar Nor Pass - Donora - Panikar

Amarnath CaveThe first part of this hiking tour is in Kashmir and follows the route of the pilgrimage of the followers of Shiva which leads to the Amarnath cave where Shiva withdrew.(The pilgrimage takes place in August at the full moon but the tour is very pleasant at other times too ). Go to Pahalgam by bus from Srinagar.

Day 01 : Pahlgam - Chandavari , 4hrs.
From Pahalgam , a four hour climb , easy walking on a broad trail. Pitch camp at Chandavari ("the camp of the moon", 2895 m)

Day 02 : Chandavari - Pissu Top - Sheesnag , 6 hrs.
Climb to Pissu Top ( 3400m) , the going is more difficult and uneven . After 4 hrs of climbing and 2 hrs on flat terrain , arrive in Sheeshnag(3874m). Quite beautiful lakes surrounded by mountains.

Day 03 : Sheeshnag - Panchtarni, 6-7 hrs.
Climb to Mahagunas Top ( 4400m ) , carry on towards Panchtarni (3800m). The path is more uneven and during the pigrimage period ones walks through a flowing mass of people. the "camp of the 5 rivers " is the place where Shiva performed his cosmic dance , untying his hair from whcih 5 springs spurted out.

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Day 04 : Panchtarni - Amarnath - Panchtarni , a full day.
Leave camp intact at Panchtarni . Leave early and do not be afraid of meeting lots of people. go up to the Sant Singhpari pass (4500m) then go back down into the north east valley at the bottom of the final slope. The pilgrims bathe and cleanse themselves in the freezing stream named Amravati whcih Shiva is said to have filled with the nectar of immortality. Arrive at the Armanath cave (about 4hrs ).During the pilgrimage , the huge crowds can be difficult to put up with but the ascent to the cave and the saddhus blessing are worth it. Stay until about 2 pm and then go back to the camp at Panchtarni.

Day 05 : Panchtarni - Sheesnag , 6-7 hrs
Go back to the Sheesnag camp following the pilgrims.

Day 06 : Sheesnag - Rangmarg , 4 hrs
Steep ascent on well marked morainic terrain ( livestock and cairns ) as far as the Gulgol pass (4406 m , 2hrs), then go back down towards Rangmarg (2hrs too ). Area frequented by Balti shepherds.

PanchtarniDay 07 : Rangmarg -Wandkadal , 6hrs.
Start on a steep incline , then cross a ford , birch forest. Walk down towards the river , cross a wooden bridge and go up onto the opposite bank ,watch out for fallen rocks. Camp in Wandkadal near the river.

Day 08 : Wandkadal - Kanital , 5hrs.
Continue walking through the birch forest , many fords. Pass Humpet and walk along the Barthol stream.Go up to the foot of a glacier , camp in Kanital.

Day 09 : Kanital - Sagar Nor Pass - Donora, 9hrs
A long day . Go up the glacier on the right hand morainic side. The way is well marked by cairns. easy going but many crevassed. Beautiful high mountain landscape. Leave the glacier via the Sagar-Nor pass (4500m).Long descent well marked by cairns, many fords. Camp in Donora.

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Day 10 : Donora -Panikar , 3-4 hrs.
Easy descent along the chillong N river.Arrive in Panikar .Camp outside the village.From there , a trail suitable for motor traffic leads you to Kargil ( 1 day ) or Padum ( 2 days)