Pilgrimage to a sacred Kashmiri ice stalagmite

Hindu pilgrims congregate in a camp of brightly colored tents during a pilgrimage to Amarnath, one of the most revered of Hindu shrines, on June 29 near Baltal, Jammu and Kashmir, India. More than 5,000 Hindu devotees, braving sub-zero temperatures, hiked over glaciers and along paths overhanging gorges to reach the sacred cave shrine. The Kashmiri mountains near Srinagar are 3,800 meters above sea level and are home to a sacred ice stalagmite symbolizing the Hindu god Shiva. (Photo: Yawar Nazir/Getty Images)

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Praying in the presence of Shiva Lingam in Amarnath
A Kashmiri Pandit worships in front of Shiva Lingam, an ice stalagmite that resembles the Hindu god Shiva, during a pilgrimage to the Amarnath cave shrine located within the Kashmiri mountains on June 29. About 200,000 Hindu pilgrims are expected to take part in this year's two-month pilgrimage. Due to militants who have been fighting for the independence of Kashmir since 1989, large numbers of Indian paramilitary soldiers and policemen are being deployed along the route as protection from any possible attacks. (Photo: Yawar Nazir/Getty Images)

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Big Snapshot: Pilgrimage to Amarnath
Pilgrims hike through the Kashmir mountains to reach the Amarnath Temple.