One of the holy Trinity, Shiva is a living God. The most sacred and the most ancient book of India, the 'Rig Veda" evokes his presence in its hymns. Vedic myths, rituals and even astronomy testify to his existence from the dawn of time. But Shiva, Destroyer, the mendicant, is indefinable.
The Yatra (pilgrimage) on foot to Amarnath Cave, considered
one of the holiest naturally occurring shrines of the Hindu faith, has
continued annually for little more than a hundred years. Extending up 130
feet, the Amarnath Cave is high and shallow.
A Linga Of Ice
Inside the large opening, behind an open-gated iron fence, an underground trickle of water emerges 10 feet up from a small cleft in the sedimentary rock and freezes s it drips to form a small cleft in the sedimentary rock and freezes as it drips to form a tall, smooth cone of ice.
This cone was originally called "the formless form", but it has come to have another symbolism. The ice figure is believed to be a Lings (also spelt as Lingam), a manifestation of the Lord Shiva's phallus. On the full moon of the Sawan month, in July or August, tens of thousands of yatris (also called pilgrims), walk from Pahalgam to view the Ice phallus and make offerings of food, money, sweets, and garlands of flowers before it.