Jammu and Kashmir in North India.
Best time to Visit:
March-April And September-October
Pilgrimage center of Hindus.
About Vaishno Devi Temple
India's most visited Hindu pilgrimage center is situated at Katra, 61 Km in
the north of Jammu. Mata. It is seated on the Trikuta Mountain at an
altitude of 5, 300 ft above the sea level. The shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi
nestles in a cave of Himalayan Mountains in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
The entrance to temple covers a stretched area of 13 km, thereby dragging
into a compressed tunnel of running stream, known as Char an Ganga.
Devotees stands in queue in the extended getaway of the temple and need to
follow the passage through the cave so as to reach the holy sanatorium.
During the winters the path gets clogged with snow and create obstacle to
proceed on the Vaishno Devi pilgrimage yatra.
Legends Associated with Vaishno Devi
According to Hindu mythology, the name of the temple came after Vaishno
Devi a devotee of Lord Vishnu,who used to pray Lord Rama and had attained
purity in the name of her lord. Legends also says that Goddess Durga
appeared in the form of Maha Kali and have killed the demon Bhairon in this
very land. A common faith ties the pilgrims visiting the godly land. They
believe that Goddess-Vaishno when calls her devotee, he or she has to march
forward the temple from any corner of the world. It is said that the person
under the blessing of Mata receives some extra-ordinary power of climbing
the great heights of the mountain. They continue their religious trip with
chanting 'Prem se bolo, Jai Mata Di' and create magic in the ambiance.
Dedicated to Godess Vaishno
The adorable home to Goddess Vaishno Devi sparkle with the presence of the
three Pindis namely Maha Kali, Maha Laxmi and Maha
Sarawati. The deity of Vaishno is represented in the configuration of
a five and half feet tall rock structure and three Pin dies or heads. Each
of her manifested form are located at a distance of 91 feet inside the cave.
The Pindis are encircled with the spiritual symbol of 'Surya', 'Chander',
'Sinh Raj', 'Pashupatinath', 'Shiva' and 'Dhrupad Ji'. Interestingly, the
each of the three form of one common Vaishno Devi has been opined
differently. 'Maha Kali' represents Tam Gun and Tam stands for gloominess
and unhappiness. 'Maha Lakshmi represents Raj Gun and Raj stands for
livelihood, prosperousness and happiness 'Maha Saraswati represents Sat Va
Gun and Sat va stands for pureness, righteousness and honesty
Vaishno Devi Pilgrimage Rituals
Vaishno Devi Temple is a door way to religious affair and tradition. One
very important activity lies in the Aarti, performed by the Pujaries. It is
performed twice a day with the morning sunrise and evening sunset. The
ritual starts with the loud chanting of Mantra's, accompanied with uttering
108 names of Goddess Durga. Following this the Atam Puja is performed for
their own purification.With applying Tilak on each other's forehead, the
puja further continues with worshiping Prithvi, Surya, Deep and Dhoop. After
a strong devotion of two hours the aarti ends up with a vow to Mata Maha
Kali, Maha Lakshmi Vaishno Mata and Mata Maha Saraswati.
Divine Journey/ Pilgrimage Yatra to Vaishno Devi
The religious Pad Yatra( journey by foot) is a hard core task and calls for
a for-hour climb. The yatra start up with the high steps of Katra, 13 km
from the temple. Many devotees cover the distance by foot, whereas some opt
for a hilarious ride on a pony or a horse. During their approach they
refresh themselves with a halt in Banganga, 1 Km away from Katra and at the
holy cave at Adhkawari, 6 Km from Katra. The roads are facilitated with
drinking water and necessary items. Shops located along side at the entrance
of the Bhawan are availed with glittering Chunri, coconuts and Darshan
prasad. Yatris need to follow the system of issuing a token, in which the
group number and the time for Darshen are mentioned.
Best time to Travel to Vaishno Devi
Dedicated to Goddess Vaishno Devi, this pilgrimage center is located in the
rough terrain of Himalaya. Due to its geographical location, the area is
pone to cold climate. The best time to make a Vaishno Devi trip is anytime
between March-April and September-October.
More Attractions for Pilgrims
Ban Ganga Temple, Charan Paduka Temple and Ardh kuwari temple.
Tourist Preferred Hotels
On reaching Katra, the Yatris can find accommodation at Niharika/Vishram
Ghar complex of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board. The Jammu and Kashmir
Tourism Department has also maintained a number of rest houses in Adhkawari,
Sanjichhat and Darbar. Also there lies some Dharamshala, which offers a
comfortable stay to the pilgrims.
Vaishno Devi Travel
Vaishno Devi Temple in Jammu can be easily assessed
from any part of the country. The nearest Jammu airport is 48km from Katra.
Both Indian Airlines and Jet Airways offers a daily service to Jammu.
Helicopter service can also be obtained from the airport at Sanjhi Chat in
Jammu in the morning.
The nearest train station is in Jammu. Indian
Railway Department introduce a special train for yatris, on the peak season
of summer and holidays.
There are regular buses leaving for the 52 km trip
from the central bus stand in Jammu to where the road ends at Katra (2 hr).
There are regular buses leaving for the 52-km trip from the central bus
stand in Jammu to where the road ends at Katra (2 hr). National Highway No.
1A connects Jammu and Srinagar. Various North Indian cities are availed with
many standard State Transport Buses and Delux buses, thereby offering the
travelers a smooth journey.