Vaishno Devi

ABOUT VAISHNO DEVI

Vaishno Devi is an important pil­grimage centre for the Hindus. It is situated in the Lesser Himalayas near Katra (Fig.10.3). This temple situated in a limestone cave is dedi­cated to the three mother goddesses of Hinduism.

Vaishno Devi is an important pil­grimage centre for the Hindus. It is situated in the Lesser Himalayas near Katra (Fig.10.3). This temple situated in a limestone cave is dedi­cated to the three mother goddesses of Hinduism.

A wide range of trekking options is available in Kud. There are excellent camping sites in the adjoining areas in the wilderness. The tourism Department has Trekking equipment Hire shop. These Shops stock local and imported trekking gear. Equipments are available against a security deposit. If you are a foreign national then your passport will be kept as a deposit. Some travel agencies also organise trekking around this area.

A pilgrimage to the Holy Shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji is considered to be one of the holiest pilgrimages of our times. Popular the world over as Moonh Maangi Muradein Poori Karne Wali Mata, which means, the Mother who fulfills whatever Her children wish for, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji resides in a Holy Cave located in the folds of the three peaked mountain named Trikuta (pronounced as Trikoot). The Holy Cave attracts millions of devotees every year. In fact, the number of Yatris visiting the Holy Shrine annually now exceeds one crore. This is due to the unflinching faith of the devotees who throng the Shrine from all parts of India and abroad.

The Holy Cave of the Mother is situated at an altitude of 5200 ft. The Yatris have to undertake a trek of nearly 12 km from the base camp at Katra. At the culmination of their pilgrimage, the yatries are blessed with the Darshans of the Mother Goddess inside the Sanctum Sanctorum- the Holy Cave. These Darshans are in the shape of three natural rock formations called the Pindies. There are no statues or idols inside the Cave.

Since the year 1986, when the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (commonly called Shrine Board) was formed, the management of the Shrine and regulation of the Yatra has been vested in the Board. The Board has undertaken a number of developmental activities aimed at making the Yatra a comfortable and satisfying experience for the Yatris. The Board continues to reinvest the offerings and donations received in carying out improvements in various kinds of Yatri facilities.



Ardh Kuwari, Vaishno Devi
Ardh Kuwari is a site of religious significance, popular for 15 foot long and narrow cave called Garbha Joon. It is 4,800 ft above sea level and is situated 4.5 km from Charan Paduka. Ardh Kuwari is a halfway point during the trek to the main shrine. It is believed that Goddess Durga hid herself from Bhairav Nath for nine months in this cave. When Bhairav Nath entered the cave, the Goddess made a new opening with her trident.

Bhairav Nath Temple
Bhairav Nath Temple is a located at a distance of 3 km from the holy cave. Dedicated to saint turned demon, Bhairav Nath, the temple is the last point of the pilgrimage.

According to mythology, in his last breath Bhairav Nath repented for his unholy acts and for the same Goddess forgave him. The shrine of Bhairav Nath is situated atop a hill, which is approachable from Ardh Kuwari.
Charan Paduka Temple, Vaishno Devi
Charan Paduka Temple is one of the religious sites, which is situated at a distance of 1.5 km from Banganga. According to the mythological tales, Goddess Durga made a halt at the site when Bhairav Nath was chasing her. Positioned at an altitude of 3,380 ft, the site of holy footprints is one of the highlights of the destination.

Jahan Kosha, Vaishno Devi
Jahan Kosha is an ancient site that features a cannon built by Janardhan Karmakar. Constructed in 17th century by the craftsmen from Bangladesh, the canon is 17.5 ft long. Along with the canon, there is a beautiful mosque, known as Kadam Sharif.