Vaishno Devi
|| The Past || Yatra || Darshan || When to Go || Getting There ||   

Faith moves mountains. From a cave shrine situated deep in the Mountains of Trikuta Hills in the state of Jammu & Kashmir in India to a bustling religious centre, the call of Mata Vaishno Devi draws thousands of pilgrims every year. The Goddess (Vaishno Devi) resides in this beautiful cave in the form of three Pindis, namely Maha Kali, Maha Laxmi and Maha Saraswati. According to a legend a Brahmin, Pandit Sridhar about a thousand years ago, discovered the holy shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi. Considered to be one of the holiest Hindu pilgrimage in Nort India, Vaishno   Devi  is  a  site  for  spiritual
Vaishno Devi Jammu
 
cleansing  and  revitalization for the heart. The incredible and miraculous powers of Vaishno Devi draw devotees from far and wide who embark on this arduous pilgrimage. Devotees seem to get divine motivation by chanting Jai Mata Devi (Great Vaishno Devi) as they make the climb.

History of Goddess Vaishno Devi

 


During the time when the Goddesses were destroying the evil Asuras, the 3 main manifestations, Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and Mahasaraswati, pooled their collective strength and sent a divine child, Vaishnavi (Vaishno Devi), to be born in the house of one Ratnakar. She was to maintain righteousness and attain a level of consciousness by which she would merge with Vishnu.

Sherawali Maa Vaishno Devi
An extraordinary child, she went deep into the forest, in search of god. However, Bhairon Nath (Demon God) tried to behold her and once, while she walked towards the Trikuta Mountains, and started chasing her. To escape him, Vaisnavi left Trikuta mountains. While passing through a ravine she shot an arrow into the earth from where water gushed out -- this stream came to be known as Banaganga. Charan Paduka, marked by the imprints of her feet, is the place where Mata Vaishno Devi rested. The Goddess then meditated in the cave at Adhkawari. It took Bhairon Nath nine months to locate her, the reason why the cave is known as Garbh Joon. Mata Vaishno Devi blasted an opening at the other end of the cave with Her Trident when Bhairon Nath located her.

On arriving  at the Holy  Cave at Darbar, she assumed the form of Maha Kali and cut off Bhairon Nath's head which was flung up the mountain by the force of the blow and fell at the place where the Bhairon Temple is now located. The boulder at the mouth of the Holy Cave according to the legend is the petrified torso of Bhairon Nath who was granted divine forgiveness by the compassionate Mata in his dying moments.

Thereafter, Vaishnavi (Vaishno Devi) decided to abandon her human form and assumed the face of a rock and immersed herself into meditation forever.

Vaishno Devi Yatra 2008

 


It's compulsory to obtain a slip from the Yatra Registration Counter at the Tourism Reception Centre, Katra Bus Stand, without which, crossing of Banganga check-post is not permitted. The yatra begins at Katra and pilgrims have to cover 13 kms of land on foot to reach the shrine. At Banganga, a kilometre away from Katra is a security check post. After 6 km of trekking, you reach Adhkawari, the holy cave where Mata meditated for nine months. Most devotees take rest at Sanji Chatt after 9.5 kms of walking from Katra. Accommodation is also  available at  this  place.  The  shrine  is  just
Trek to Vaishno Devi Shrine
3.5 kms  away. By showing your yatra slip which, you can get from Katra at the registration office at the Bhawan, you are given a number, which will determine your place in the queue for darshan of Mata Vaishno Devi.

At the Bhawan there is provision for bathing, and for keeping your belongings in safe custody, as leather items are not permitted. Blankets are also available at a refundable deposit.

Prasad, chunari and coconuts can be bought from shops situated at the entrance of the Bhawan. In case of overcrowding, you will have to wait in a queue according to your batch number. Before entering the cave, the coconut has to be deposited against a token. The whole valley reverberates with the chanting of Jai Mata Di (Great Vaishno Devi).

Vaishno Devi Darshan

 


Darshans inside the Holy Cave are in the form of natural rock formations called Pindis. There are no statues, pictures or idols inside. All along the track and at the Bhawan, there are many photographs explaining the nature of Darshans inside the Holy Cave. Yatris should observe these carefully since these are meant to guide them towards the final Darshans (visit) in the Holy Cave.

It is also believed that the darshan is not complete until the Bhairon temple is visited on one's way back.

Best to visit Vaishno Devi Jammu

 


The Yatra to the Holy Shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi Ji is open throughout the year. The summer months of May, June and July and the festival period of Chaitra (spring) and Sharad-Ashwin (Autumn) Navratras and New Year vacations witness peak rush. As a result of this rush, devotees have to often wait for 12-20 hours at Katra before having Darshan. For a comfortable, quick and satisfying Darshan, we strongly advise that the period of peak rush must be avoided. For more detail information about hotels booking in Katra and Jammu, Click here.

How to reach Vaishno Devi Katra Jammu

 



Airlines Airports Air Tickets

Jammu is the nearest airport 48 kms from Katra.

Railways Train

The closest railhead is Jammu. Jammu is directly connected to cities like Calcutta, Delhi and Kanyakumari. Besides, it is connected with other major cities of the country.

Bus Taxi Cars

Jammu is the terminus of a large number of Inter State Bus Services.

While on the Yatra to Vaishno Devi, pilgrims hire porters to carry luggage. Ponies and palanquins are also available and it is advisable to avail the services of only registered persons offering these services.



  Need help planning a Pilgrimage Tour? Click here


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