Vaishno Devi, Jammu and Kashmir
Vaishno Devi is one of the most visited pilgrimage destinations in the country and a revered site for Hindus, Vaishno Devi is located in the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir. In Hindu religion Vaishno Devi, is also known as Mata Rani and Vaishnavi which is believed to be a manifestation of the Mother Goddess.
Mata Vaishno devi is located at the Height of 5200 Feet from the sea level and approximately 12 km from Katra, a small town in Jammu and Kashmir State of India. The holy cave shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi is 30 meter long and just one and a half meter high. The Shrine of Mother Goddess is one of the most revered and most popular religious centers in Northern India which is visited by around 8 million pilgrims every year.
The shrine board issues Yatra slips from counters which must be present at Banganaga check post within 6 hours. There is no Fee/Charge for this Yatra Slip and It is Free. Dont forget to inform and Mention How many Persons are going for Yatra (Including male/female/childrens etc.). Those who are going to Yatra by Walking are advisable to take regular routes and those who are unable to walk can Hire the Horses from the Starting Point.
Leather items are not permitted to the temple. From Katra you have to climb along the 13 km track to the cave temple. Tea, snacks and drinks are available on the route. The ponies, porters and dandies are available from Katra to cave temple in a fixed rate. The pilgrims shout of ‘Jai Matadi’ (Victory to the Mother Goddess) on the way up and down to the temple.
Legends of Vaishno Devi
It is not possible to ascertain when exactly the pilgrimage to the Holy Shrine started. But the geological study of the Holy Cave indicates that it is nearly a million years old. In the Hindu epic Mahabharat one can find the mention of this holy Shrine. According to Mahabharat legend Arjun, the chief warrior of Pandavs, upon the advice of Sri Krishna meditated upon the Mother Goddess and sought blessings for victory over Kaurvas in the battlefield of Kurukshetra. It is said that after the victory Pandavs were the first to build the temples at Kol Kandoli and Bhawan in reverence and gratitude for the Mother Goddess.
How to reach Vaishno Devi
Vaishno Devi by Air
The nearest airport is located in Jammu which is well-connected to the other destinations of India, Delhi, Leh and Srinagar being the major among them. The major domestic airlines operate their flights to and from Jammu.
Vaishno Devi by Rail
Jammu is the main railhead for Vaishno Devi and you can easily get the super fast and express trains for the various destinations of India including Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai.
Vaishno Devi by Road
Road access to Vaishno Devi is very convenient as the region has well-maintained network of state and national highways. The various nearby destinations that connect Jammu, (the nearest transit point of Vaishno Devi) are Tarn Taran, Amritsar, Jallandhar, Ludhiana, Patiala, Chandigarh, Delhi, Jwalaji and Srinagar.
Best Season / Best time to visit Vaishno Devi
- Winter (October to February) are characterized by sub-zero level temperature and snowfall is common.
- Summer (March to July) are cool and pleasant and most of the pilgrims visit the Vaishno Devi during this period.
- Monsoon (August to September) received medium to heavy rainfall and it is not advisable to go the shrine as mud slides are common. However, natural beauty is at its best.