Vaishno devi is the most famous hindu pilgrimage in India. This place attracts millions of people or visitors throughout the year, not only from India but also from abroad. Vaishno devi yatra is full of adventure and positivity. It lead to peace of mind and soul, which we cannot find in our own house.
So, What makes Maa Vaishno devi famous for? Where it is actually located? How to travel to the this beautiful place in India? Do you want to know more about Maa Vaishno devi Temple? Let’s find the answer of these questions in the article below. Let’s begin with the saying- ‘Jai Mata di…’
Vaishno devi temple is located in the Crowne territory of India. It is situated between the holy cave of Trikuta Parvat (Mountain) in Katra within the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) . Katra is a base camp to settle and continue the yatra. There is no idols or statues in the temple. Mother Goddess are worshipped in the form of Pindies (natural Rock formation).
The Mata Rani or Maa Vaishno Devi is combined energy form of three Goddess. They are, Maha-kaali(Parvati) , Maha-lakshmi and Maha-Saraswati. These are present as three Pindies inside the cave temple known as Maa Vaishnavi. Maa Vaishno devi is called by many different names as, Mehrawali, Pahadawali, Sherawali. The word Devi implies Mother Goddess.
The Holy cave is located at an elevation of about 5200ft. The devotees undertake a trek of 12-13 km from the base camp of Katra to Bhavan. Devotees travel the path on their foot and encourage all other travellers by Godly greetings. A famous Bollywood movie Avtaar song- “Chalo Bulawa Aaya hai, Mata ne bulaya hai, Jay mata di, jay mata di, Jay mata di kehte jao aane jane walo ko”, was picturised on Vaishno devi yatra.
Ropeway, Helicopter, Pony, Pitthu, Paalki are available for the devotees to reach the main cave. As per the establishment of Shrine Board in 1986, the holy shrine of Vaishno devi dham has an increasing number of devotees to visit the temple every year.
The Vaishno devi cave is open throughout the year for the pilgrims. Suitable month to visit Vaishno devi is between March to October. In Winter season, the roads and path are covered with ice and the temperature is much low.
History of Maa Vaishno Devi Dhaam
The Vaishno devi temple is so ancient according to geologists. Vaishnavi was the princess in Treta Yug as a combined energy form of Mata Parvati, Mata Lakshmi and Mata Saraswati. She carried meditation at the trikuta mountain and are still placed there in the form of 3 pindies. The mother Goddess entered earth to destroy the demons & stable the peaceful conditions on earth.
One of the popular known story about Vaishno devi was, She approached in the dream of her most passionate devotee named Shridhar. Shridhar received a command by Goddess to arrange a grand public fest. But due to poor financial conditions he was unable to organize a Bhandara. He was feeling guilty that he is not fulfilling the mother goddess wish. Then Maa Vaishnavi arrived In his hut in the form of little a girl to carry out arrangements of public fest in her commands.
Shridhar followed the little girl’s advice. Then all villagers arrived to have fest, each one of them was satisfied with food and returned happy. Except Bhairon Nath, all other villagers has their food. Bhairon Nath demanded a meal of animal flesh, which was refused by Mata. By this insult, Bhairon Nath tried to catch the girl but she vanished, and went to Trikuta Mountain.
This incidence put a major shock to Shridhar and his wife. After that incident, Shridhar devoted Mata to Have her Darshan. Maa Vaishno appeared in his dream and suggested a path to meet her old shrine. Shridhar followed the instructions of Mata rani and find Pindies in the cave of Trikuta mountain. He devoted his life in worshipping Maa Vaishno devi. This incident was than spread and known to others which start devotees of Mata Rani to visit her cave.
It is believed that, Vaishno devi calls or divine calls to their devotees. It is called as Bulawa. When Mother Goddess calls, then only person can visit to have her Darshan. She is fulfilling all the healthy and fruitful desires of mankind.
Way to Vaishno Devi
Katra is located approximately 50 km away from main station Jammu. From Jammu person can travel by bus or a Taxi. By bus it costs 50₹-70₹ and private taxi 1000₹-1500₹ to reach the base camp at Katra. The journey begins from Ban Ganga in Katra. This place is named so because, once Maa Vaishno devi shot up an arrow from her bow and a holy lake originated their with pure water.
After reaching Jammu, the key landmarks between Katra to Bhawan are- Darshani, Deodhi, Banganga, Chara Paduka, Indraprastha, Adhkuari, Garbha Jhoon, Himkoti, Hathi Matha, Sanji Chhat, Bhawan, Sher Ka PanjaPanja and Bhairon Mandir. Sanji Chhat is last resting point and from here main cave is just 2.5 km away. Adhkuari is the mid point of the journey. There is one more path to reach cave approximately 1.5 km, but people need to go on foot because ponies, palkies are not allowed on that path.
The trek is rough and with many hurdles in the path. The stairs are steeped and zig zag, but the faith and positivity of environment led the devotees to travel without any problem. Regular Helicopter flights are available for people who do not want to walk the 12km long road. Helicopter flights are from Katra to Sanjhhi Chhat. These can be booked from Maa Vaishno devi Shrine Board. These costs approximately 2500₹-5000₹ per person, depending on the current rate there.
The ponies and pithus rate varies, from Katra to Bhawan it costs ₹700-1000₹ per person. Palkies are operated by 2 or 4 people which costs 2000₹-2500₹ per person. Battery cars are also available.
Visitors have to register themselves online via Mata Vaishno devi Shrine Board’s official website or at Yatri registration centres at Katra. This will provide visitors a registration slip which is to be carried along the way. This slip provides entry into the shrine.
The path from Katra to Shrine is full of shops, food stall, shops with religious material to be offered at shrine, water coolers, blanket sellers, and devotional environment. It is advised, not to carry heavy materials, electronic devices, luggage to the shrine.
Timings to visit Shrine
The Vaishno Devi Cave, opens at 5 AM every morning and closes at 10 PMin night. The best time to visit the shrine is in morning. The Secenerio of the path is so religious, devotional and covered with devotees everywhere. The shrine is open in all the months, but most favorable month are between February to October.
Where to Stay in Katra?
To stay in Katra we need to book a public inn or hotel. We can find and book the hotels via Google Maps, Goibibo, trivago, yatra.com and many other online platforms. If a person directly wants to book the hotels it can also be done easily. Tourists can also avail the low cost dharamshala ond public guest houses near the main shrine. Some of the best rated Hotels in Katra are given below in the table.
|Hotels / Inns||Price (for 1 night)|
|Hotel Rama Trident, |
Railway Road, Katra
|Hotel Maharaja Inn, |
Jammu road, Katra
|Hotel Subhash International, |
Banganga road, Katra
|Hotel Ganpati, |
Main Bazaar, Katra
Vaishno Devi is beautiful place to visit with family. Vaishno devi yatra will bring eternal joy to one’s soul. Once in a lifetime, everyone should visit to Vaishno Devi Dham.