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The annual pilgrimage to the cave shrine of Amarnath began on June 21.

Thousands of devotees of Lord Shiva are expected to reach the shrine in the next two months.

Amarnath, the abode of Lord Shiva, stands at a height of nearly 12,800 feet above sea level, 141 km from Srinagar. The base camp for the pilgrimage, Pahalgam, is 96 km from Srinagar.

Also See: Official Amarnath web site

Devotees will take an arduous route through rain-swollen streams and past a glacier-fed lake to the cave to worship an ice stalagmite, believed to be a phallic symbol representing the regenerative powers of Lord Shiva.

The Yatra will end on August 19, Raksha Bandhan day.

Photographs: STR/AFP/Getty Images

Text: Rupali Nimkar | Design: Rahil Shaikh

Also See: Bam Bam Bhole

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