Shiva is the third person of the trinity of Hinduism also called as destroyer. Shiva, the living god is mentioned in the text Rig Veda as Rudra. The astronomy testifies the existence of Lord Shiva. The scriptures hail Shiva has the chief of yogis who has the power to dissolve and create the universe with the opening and closing of the third eye. Therefore the Lord is also called as Trinetra. In India, Shiva is worshipped since the time immemorial and this is evident by the number of Shiva temples that exist in the different parts of the country. One of the very important cave shrines of Lord Shiva is the Amarnath cave of Jammu and Kashmir. One can reach the cave from Pahalgam, a very important hill station of the region. As per the sculptures, Shiva has a place in the Himalayas. The lord lived like the ascetic and did not construct a palace for Himself. The consort of Lord is Parvati and He has a son named Ganesha. Ganesha or Adi deva is the first deity to be worshipped in Hinduism and without Ganesha; the worship will not be perfect. Shiva was married yet He was an ascetic. The tale of Amarnath cave is quite interesting. It is said that Shiva spoke about immortality to Parvati in this cave and while he was speaking, a pair of pigeons were hearing the story. Because of this, this pigeon pair attained the state of immortality. In the present times, the pilgrims can see the pigeons with their eyes.
The trekking pilgrimage to the sacred cave of Amarnath starts from July till the month of August. These are the months of Shravan as per the Hindu calendar. In the cave is the ice lingam, a symbol of Lord Shiva. Apart from this, there are other ice formations representing Ganesha and Parvati. As per the tale, a Muslim shepherd discovered the cave. The name of the shepherd was Buta Malik. He got a coal sack from a sadhu here but as he returned home, the sack became the sack of gold. He went back to thank the Sadhu but could find the cave instead. Even to the present time, a part of the donation in this shine goes to the descendents of Buta Malik. In order to reach the cave shrine, the pilgrims have to cross the Mahagunas pass.
There is yet another legend associated with Amarnath cave. It is said that the cave was discovered by Bregish Rishi during his way to the Himalayas.