Vaishno Devi Temple
Vaishno Devi Temple
Vaishno Devi Mandir is a holy pilgrimage destination for the Hindus, located in the folds of three-peaked mountain Trikuta, 12 km away from Katra in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, India. Vaishno Devi cave is located at an altitude of 5200ft in a Trikuta mountain. Vaishno Devi is present here in the form of rock heads called Pindies. Millions of people come to take blessing of Maa Vaishno Devi. It is said that Maa Vaishnodevi decides her visitors. According to some sources, it is one of the holiest shaktipeetas , since skull of Sati Mata fell here. In the Holy Cave of Shri Mata Vaishno Deviji, one does find stone remains of a human hand, popularly known as Varad Hast (the hand that grants boons and blessings).
Epic Mahabharatahas detailed mention the Mother Goddess which indicates its relevance since time immemorial. The Origin of Vaishno Devis best defined in this epic with reference to the Kurukshetra battlefield in which both Pandavand Kaurv armies faced each other. As the descriptions explain, Pandav warrior chief Arjun had been told by Sri Krishna to initiate meditation before the Vaishno Devi Mother to seek her blessing to win battle. Arjun iniitated mediation thereafter and bowed his head while chanting ‘Jambookatak Chityaishu Nityam Sannihitalaye’ that explains powerful goddess residing in the temple slop in a Jamboo mountain. The Jamboo in it indicated today’s Jammu as the researchers claim.
History of Vaishno Devi further examines facts like the gestures of winning Pandavs in the form of building huge temples at Kol Kandoli and Bhawan to venerate their gratefulness for this miraculous Mother Goddess whose charisma they had seen. The nearby mountain located close to the Trikuta Mountain supervises the Holy Cave whose five stone structures might symbolize the Pandavs, explain the researchers.
How to Reach Vaishno Devi Temple
Vaishno Devi Temple can be reached after making a steep 13-km trek from the road head at Katra, the town at the foot of the Trikuta hills. Several porters and ponies are available at Katra on hire.
Jammu is the nearest railhead, which lies on the other side of the Tawi River. Jammu is very well connected with all major destinations in India by rail. Direct express trains link it with Mumbai, Delhi and Calcutta.
Jammu is the nearest airport. Jammu’s civil airport at Ranibagh is 9 km from the city center. Alliance Air, a subsidiary of Indian Airlines, runs flights to and from Delhi, Srinagar and Leh.
At Katra, private hotels, dharamshalas and government accommodation are also available. The accommodation offered by the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) is of three types – free accommodation, rented rooms, and rented dormitories. Rented rooms/dormitories are available to the pilgrims against advance reservation.
For the ease of Journey the tourist must:
- Register themselves at the booking counter Katra and get the yatra slip
- Get permission for the video camera, if interested.
- Check the identity card of the Pithoo, Pony and Palki before hiring them.
- For ease of Journey Travel as light as possible, since all the facilities are available on the track.
- Avoid the use of Polythene bag to protect the environment.
- Throw the waste in the waste-boxes available.
- Walk on the track only and enjoy the beauty of the nature. Wrong track can lead to disastrous results.
- While leaving for the Darshan of the Holy Shrine, deposit your belongings at the clock rooms and get the receipt.
- Donations are to be made at the donation counters and get the receipt duly signed.