The Amarnath Shivling story is a significant tale from Hindu mythology and is associated with the Amarnath Cave located in Jammu and Kashmir, India. According to the legend, it is believed to be the sacred abode of Lord Shiva, one of the principal deities in the Hindu pantheon.
The story goes back to ancient times when Lord Shiva revealed the secret of immortality to his beloved wife, Goddess Parvati. Deeply intrigued by the secret, Parvati insisted on knowing the means to attain it. In response, Lord Shiva decided to take her to a secluded place where he could impart this divine knowledge to her without any interruption.
Thus, the divine couple embarked on a journey towards the secluded cave of Amarnath, located in the Himalayas. To ensure that no one else could overhear the secret, Lord Shiva performed several feats to eliminate any possibility of being followed or discovered. He first left his mount, Nandi, at Pahalgam (a nearby location) and then released the Moon from his locks, making him Chandrashekhar (the one with the moon on his head).
Next, Lord Shiva released the snakes from his body, adorning them as ornaments, which became the reason for him being called Neelkantha (the one with the blue throat). He also created the Kalagni, a cosmic fire, to eliminate any living beings in the vicinity.
As they continued their journey, they reached the Amarnath Cave, which remained concealed for the rest of the world. Inside the cave, Lord Shiva imparted the knowledge of immortality to Goddess Parvati.
Unbeknownst to them, a pair of mating doves had followed them to the cave and overheard the divine conversation. The doves were blessed to attain immortality and have remained there as a symbol of eternity and love.
To this day, inside the Amarnath Cave, a stalagmite formation is worshipped as the ice lingam (Shivling), symbolizing Lord Shiva. The ice lingam is said to form naturally every year and wane away gradually. This event occurs due to the freezing of water droplets, a phenomenon that has captivated pilgrims and devotees for centuries.
As per Hindu tradition, the Amarnath Yatra (pilgrimage) is undertaken annually by devotees who trek through challenging terrains to reach the cave and seek the blessings of Lord Shiva. The pilgrimage is considered highly auspicious and spiritually fulfilling for those who undertake it with devotion and dedication.