The cave of Mata Vaishno Devi is located at an elevation of 1560 m above sea level in Jammu and Kashmir. They are about 13 km from Katra, which is also used as the base camp by pilgrims. This celebrated sanctum appeals to millions of lovers from all over the world. Vaishno Devi is the incarnation of Goddess Durga and is humbly known as Mata rani amongst the pilgrims. It is accepted that amid the pooja and Aarti, Goddesses arrive at the Sacred cave to pay their regard to Mata Rani. Aficionados accept goddess herself calls the aficionados to reach here.
Loved and exceedingly accepted in, thousands of Travelers visit each year to look for favors and appear determined confidence in this sanctuary. Pilgrims trek as much as 13 km on the mountain slopes to get to the caves. These caves are amongst the 108 Shakti Peetha. It takes almost 6 to 9 hours depending on the wellness, age and climate conditions. Horses, palanquins and helicopter services are available to ease the trek up to the caves for the pilgrims. The complete way is conventionally cleared with parts of shops offering snacks, nourishment items and different devout products. Throughout the journey, you can see the evident devotion of the pilgrims yelling and chanting tunes, all in the name of Mata Rani. Normal qualities at its summit can be delighted in all through the stay.
Trek From Katra to Vaishno Devi
The caves and the shrine of Goddess Vaishnavi are open for visit throughout the year, 24×7. The regulating authorities have also helped make darshan easier. There is adequate lighting on the way so the devotees can travel easily. The astonishing touched off way is unmistakable from the Katra transport stand. Along the trekking way, there are numerous slows down advertising nourishment, refreshments, tea, drinking water, restorative help, comfortable sitting seats, toilets etc. At some points you may encounter mandatory police checkpoints At Banganga check post, which is at the start of the journey, baggage check is conducted. There are hoses available. So you can take a ride on a horse as well if you are fatigued or not in the condition to travel all the way by yourself. However, the horses can travel only half the distance and you will have to cover the rest by yourself.
Vaishno Devi Helicopter Services
There is the provision to travel by helicopter as well. The helicopter services in Vaishnodevi are pretty good and are well known. Apart from the convenience they offer, they also allow the devotees to witness some marvelous scenes among the clouds. The services are available from Katra. The ride takes nearly 8 minutes and drops devotees at Sanjhichatti. From there, the devotees have to walk to the Vaishnodevi temple which is only 2.5 kms away from the helipad. The helicopters can accommodate 5-6 people at a time. A one-way trip for one person costs only INR 1005, while a round journey costs only INR 2050 for person.
Travelers are expected to show their identity proofs and travel documents to book a helicopter ticket at the heli-ticket counters. You can also book tickets online if you want to ensure you get a ticket in advance.
The Holy Cave
Many legends stand to be the base of the revelation of these caves. Yet, the most popular of them all is the journey of Pandit Sridhar. It is said that Pandit Sridhar was blessed by Mata Vaishno Devi to organise a bhandara in her name in his home in the nearby village of Hansali. But then she disappeared which shook Sridhar to the core. To express his sadness, he decided to fast until death, all for the reappearance of the Goddess. His vow got Vashno Devi to visit Srihar in his dreams and instruct him to visit the caves, as a way to find her home in the Trikuta hills. Sridhar’s journey to the Holy Caves began right after he woke up. After days of worked and voyaging long separations, he found the Cave. Happy by his efforts, Goddess Vaishnavi appear before him and her true form. He got blessings from the Goddess and soon had four children. He was also given the custody of the cave.
It is at that point that Goddess Vaishnavi showed up in her genuine frame and favored him with four children, and gave him the boon of being the official overseer of her Sacred Cave. Even today, the generations of Pandit Shridhar take care of the cave and keep the tradition alive.
The Religious Hotspot of India
Known as ‘The Wish-Fulfilling Goddess’ or ‘ Mann Mange Murad Poore Karne Wali’ in Hindi, Vaishno Devi could be a journey hotspot located in Trikuta Slopes at Katra, within the state of Jammu & Kashmir, India. In reality, Vaishno Devi could be a trio of three Goddesses: Mahalaxmi, Mahasaraswati, and Mahakali, who joined strengths to make the warrior Goddess Vaishnavi, who had killed the evil spirit overlord Bhairon Nath, and favored her highest lover, Thronged all through the year by devout aficionados, this journey could be a close culminate amalgam of serenity and mysticism. Tourists are thrilled by the sight of the dawn. The sight of the dusk looks mesmerizing from the Trikuta Slopes. During winters, when it snows, the sight of the lit Bhawan at night looks breathtaking and leaves tourists awestruck. Devotees visit Vaishno Devi every year to experience the delight of savoring faith and beauty at the same time.
Restaurants and Local Food at Vaishno Devi
Like Vaishno features an unmistakable tint in terms of otherworldly existence, religion, culture and conventions, it does so in cooking as well. The reflection of this distinction is evident in the delicious Hindu cuisine served here. The place is one of the the best places to indulge at in Jammu and Kashmir.
Since Vaishno Devi is a holy place, you will usually not find food with onion and garlic. The food served near is light. You will find Patisa, Sund Panjeeri, Patisa, chocolate barfi, Rajma with rice, Kalaadi (a sort of prepared cheese), and Kulthein di Dal, Aria (a dish made of potatoes) and Maa da Madra. You will also find conventional North Indian food around. You may not find provision to consume liquor.
Day 1 – There is a good market in Katra. On the off chance that you’ve got come to Katra, ideally within the afternoon, take a break from the tiring journey. Head out to the market the evening. There is a large range of products you can shop here. Facilities for accommodation are excellent. You can stay in a decent hotel or rent a room in a luxury hotel near the station. You can also book a lodging online in advance.
Day 2 – Start your journey afresh after you have settled and taken rest. There is a regional office near the bus stand. You will need to take the Yatra slip from there. Then head towards Darshani Darwaza. This is where the trek to the Vaishno Devi temple begins. Starting with Ban Ganga, on your trek to the holy temple, you will come across Charan Paduka and then Adi/Ardh Kumari. From Ardh Kumari, some travelers return to Katra. If you are going all the way to the temple, you should reach the Bhawan by evening. You can now take some rest after completing the long trek or continue your journey.
Day 3 – Now that you have had Darshan of the Holy Trinity, you can start your journey to the base. One your way down, you will come across the holy Bhairon Nath Mandir. This is where the beheading of the demon overlord took place. It is said that Goddess Vaishno had said that no darshan to the holy temple is complete without offering prayers at the Bhairon Nath Mandir. After darshan, you can start your trek down to the base. You can also take a helicopter ride from Sanjhhi Chhat if you are tired..