Vaishno Devi Tour
Vaishno Devi: A Travel Guide To India's Most Beautiful Shrine
Planning a trip to Vaishno Devi? If you are looking for the best guide to Vaishno Devi, then you have come to the right place. Read this article and know about the best travel guide for your trip to India.
About Mata Vaishno Devi Temple
The abode of the Goddess Vaishno Devi is in the Moutains of Trikuta Hills, in the Jammu and Kashmir State of Northern India. The Goddess resides in a beautiful cave in the form of 3 'Pindis' namely, “Maha Kali”, “Maha Laxmi” and “Maha Sarawati”. The Goddess Durga is said to have killed the demon Bhairon here. Vaishno Devi is 61-km north of Jammu and 14-km from Katra. The cave is at an elevation of 1,700m (5,100ft) and is 30m (93 ft) long and just 1.5m (5ft) high.
Vaishno Devi is a hard four-hour (13-km) climb from Katra. The best time to come is March to July, as th rest of the time of the year it can be very cold. The main pilgrimage time is March-April and September-October. In 1986, 1.6 million people came here, or 15 to 20 thousand people a day. The cave ideally handles just 8 or 10 thousand people a day, as only 12 or 15 people are let into the cave at a time. On the full moon day in Kartika (October/ November) the line to get into the cave can be 4-km long. It is believed that the arm of Goddess Sati fell at this place.
The Vaishno Devi temple is recognized as one of the "Shakti Peeths" of goddess 'Durga'. This holy shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi which is situated in the folds of mighty 'Tirkuta' Hills' attracts lakhs of devotees from all parts of India and abroad.
Discovery of the Holy Shrine
Brahmin, Pandit Sridhar about a thousand years ago. He used to live in Hansali village at the foothills of the Trikuta Mountains. One day, as he was grazing cattle, he met a beautiful child, Vaishnavi, on the hills. She urged him to call the people of his village to a feast.
By mid-day when his guests arrived he had still not made arrangements for any provisions. Suddenly, he saw Vaishnavi coming out of his hut and she asked Sridhar to call his guests saying the food was ready. He watched in amazement as all the villagers went inside his small hut and finished their meal. As they left, he called out to young Vaishnavi knowing that the answer to the mystery lay with her. But she was not to be found.
His search for her led him to a a cave up a cliff where he thought he spied her. But in vain. As he wept in anguish a light shone on him, and he had a vision: Vaishnavi was transformed into a transcendental beauty with eight arms and astride a lion. She told him she was Shakti and in this cave she was manifested in her three forms of Kali, Lakshmi and Saraswati. Sridhar's progeny have been worshipping the Goddess in this Holy Cave since those hoary days!
Other Shrines at Vaishno Devi
At Darshani Darwaza, 1-km from Katra, the Goddess disappeared. This place is called Darsani Darwaza because the Trikut mountain is visible from here Tikuta Parvat is three high peaks that are the abodes of the Goddess Vaishno Devi.
Ban Ganga Temple:
After the Goddess left the Bhumika Temple, she went to the Trikuta Hills passing through here. At this time, Langoor Vir (Veer Langur) felt thirsty. The Goddess shot an arrow into the stone and a holy river was produced, now known as Ban Ganga. It is called Ban Ganga because the Goddess washed her hair at this place. Most pilgrims take bath here. You must show the slip you got near the Bus Stand in Katra to pass this point. Ban Ganga is about 3-km from Katra.
Charan Paduka Temple:
This is where the Goddess stopped for some time while Bhairon was chasing her. Her footprints are supposed to be visible on a stone at this place. Charanpaduka means ” holy footprints.” It is about 1.5-km from Ban Ganga at 3,380 feet.
Ardh Kuwari is the halfway point and some pilgrims stay here for the night. There is a 15-foot-long cave called Garbha Joon where the Goddess hid herself for nine months and showed her self to a saint. The cave is narrow, and you have to almost crawl all the way though it. When Bhairon entered the cave, the Goddess made a new opening with her trident and ran away. Ardh Kuwari is 4.5-km from Charan Paduka and 4,800 ft above sea level. After ardh Kuwari the path gets very steep for 2.5-km. This ascent is called Hathi Matha ascent, because the mountain is shaped like the forehead of an Elephant. It is best to use the footpath rather than the stairs, as the climb will be easier. From here it is another 1,500-ft climb to Sanjhi Chatt, and from there another 4-km to the carve.
The Sri Ram Temple:
The Sri Ram Temple is near Vaishno Devi cave. There is a Shiva-linga in a cave 125 steps down from the Ram Temple
The Bhairon (Bhairav) Temple:
This temple is about 2.5-km from Vaishno Devi cave at about 6,700 feet. It is traditional to visit this temple after visiting the Vaishno Devi Temple. Bhairon (Bhairav) was absolved of all sins when Durga killed him. When Bhairon was killed by the Goddess his head flew to this place. There is a huge stone outside the cave that represents the body of Bhairon. After he was killed, her prayed to the Goddess to forgive him. It is said that the Goddess gave the benediction that the desires of her devotees who visit this place would be fulfilled.
How to Get There:
The nearest airport is in Jammu, which is 48-km from Katra. There is a helicopter service that departs from the airport at Sanjhi Chat in Jammu in the morning.
The nearest railway station is in Jammu, which is well connected to all the major cities in India
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). Walking From Katra it is a steep 13-km walk. You can rent a horse or be carried up from Katra. You can go up to the cave and back in the same day. It takes about 4 hours to climb up and 3 hours to come down. Pilgrims must get a Yatra- Slip from the tourist reception center near the bus stand in Katra to get pass Ban Ganga. It is Hard climb to Vaishno Devi.
You must pass through Katra to get to Vaishno Devi. It is where the road ends. There is an ISKCON temple (01991-33047)in Katra. It is located at the Kalka Mata Mandir, opposite the petrol pump. The Kalka Mata Mandir is an ancient Siva and Kali temple which has been put under the care of ISKCON. The deities are said to be self-manifested. This temple is visited by many pilgrims. Construction has begun on a temple and large guest house here.
Things to Remember:
- Contact the announcement counters of Shri Mata Vaishnodevi Shrine Board at Katra, Banganga, Adhkawari and Darbar for locating missing persons.
- The Shrine Board has an office at Banganga which remains open round the clock for attending to an resolving the difficulties of the pilgrims. The Shrine Board also runs a First Aid Centre at Banganga. The Police Department has set up a Police Post at Banganga that remains open round the clock. The Yatra Parchi is checked and stamped at the Banganga Check Post. This is done to prevent people who do not possess a Yatra Parchi from proceeding for the Yatra. A pilgrim must cross Banganga Check Post within 6 hrs of obtaining the Yatra Parchi. Banganga is only 1 ½-km from the Yatra Parchi counter. The Banganga Check Post remains open round the clock.
- Use only the donation boxes provided at various places by Mata Vaishnodevi Shrine Board. In case of donations at the donation counters of the Board at Katra (Central Office/ Vishram Ghar), Adhkawari, Sanjichhat and various points at the Bhawan obtain a formal receipt.
- Avoid overstraining on the climb and prefer the track over the stairs and stick to either of the paths.
- Luggage and belongings should not be deposited with unauthorized persons or left unguarded at the bathing ghats
- Clothing - Light woollens required at night during the summer months. Heavy woollens required during the remaining part of the year.
Vaishno Devi is an Indian mountain peak that has been a popular tourist destination for centuries. Blessed with natural beauty, Vaishno Devi is a place where people of all faiths can come and experience the serenity and majesty of nature. If you're interested in visiting Vaishno Devi, our guide will provide you with all the information you need to make the trip a success.
Program ( 03 days / 02 nights )
- Day 01
Jammu - Arrival
- Day 02
- Day 03
Katra - Jammu
( Based on reviews )
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
CANCELLATION AND REFUND:
Cancellations prior to 10 days from the start of the trek are entitled to a full refund(excluding the transaction charges)Cancellation between the 9th day and the 3rd day to the start of the trek will have an 80% refund. Cancellation less than 3 days to the start of the trek will have NO refund. For any assistance mail us at: email@example.com
DISCLAIMER:This activity is hugely dependent upon weather. The trip may get canceled without any prior notice due to weather or any unforeseen adverse circumstances
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