Shri Maa Vaishno Devi Shrine is one of the most sacred & Hindu pilgrimage destinations in India, located at a height of 5300 feet on the holy Trikuta Hills of the Shivalik Hill Range. From a cave shrine situated deep in the Mountains of Trikuta Hills in the state of Jammu & Kashmir to a bustling religious centre, the call of Vaishnav Devi draws thousands of pilgrims every year. According to a legend a Brahmin, Pandit Sridhar about a thousand years ago, discovered the divine temple of Mata Vaishno Devi. Considered to be one of the holiest Hindu pilgrimage in North India, Vaishno Devi Mandir is a site for spiritual cleansing and revitalization for the heart. The miraculous and supernatural powers of Vaishnav Devi draw devotee from far and wide who embark on this arduous pilgrimage. Worshiper seems to get divine motivation by chanting Jai Mata Di (Great Vaishno Devi) as they make the climb. In the cave there are idols of three deity’s viz. the Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and Mahasaraswati.
The Holy Cave Shrine
The holy cave shrine of Maa Vaishno Devi is trusted to have been built by the five Pandavas. The length of the holy cave is about 98 ft. The symbols of a many of gods and goddesses of the Hindu belief can be seen here. At the entrance of the original tunnel to the holy cave can be seen the symbols of Vakra Tunda Ganesha, Surya Dev and Chandra Dev. When one crawls into the sacred cave by the tunnel, he/she passes over the Dhadh of Bhairon Nath. The symbol of Lord Hanuman, called Launkra Beer, can also be seen and the travelers have to go through water beyond the Launkra Beer point. Twenty-three feet beyond Launkra Beer, on the upper left-hand side, the roof of the cave flares out and the weight of this overhang seems to be resting on the incalculable heads of Shesh Nag. Directly below Shesh Nag can be seen the symbols of Shankh, Chakra, Gada and Padam. Higher up, almost touching the ceiling of the cave, are the figures of the five Pandavas, the Sapt Rishi, the udders of the divine cow, Kamadhenu, Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva and Parvati. The Goddess (Vaishnav Devi) exist in this exquisite cave in the form of three Pindis, namely Maha Kali, Maha Laxmi and Maha Saraswati.
Vaishno Devi Mandir is one of the most admired holy sites of India, visited by the people of almost all the religions. The divine temple is visited by millions of Indians from all parts of the country. It is believed that devotees visiting the Mata or Mother for the completion of their wishes, never returns empty handed. There are some visitors to Vaishnav Devi for no other reason than their wish to see Mata. During the celebration of Navaratri, thousands of diehard followers from all over the country and even abroad line up the long mountain roads to worship the deity. Navaratri is the biggest festival in honor of the Goddess and people have to stand in queues for hours to have the darshan of Maa Vaishno Devi.
Best Time to Visit - The Yatra to the Holy Shrine of Maa Vaishno Devi Ji is open round the year. The summer months of May, June and July and the fiesta period of Chaitra (spring) and Sharad-Ashwin (Autumn) Navratras and New Year holidays witness peak rush. As a result of this rush, pilgrims have to often wait for 12-20 hours at Katra before having Darshan. For a comfortable, quick and satisfying Darshan, must avoid the period of peak rush.
How to reach Vaishnav Devi Katra Jammu?
Jai Mata Di
A renowned cave temple nestled in the hovering mountain ranges of Himalayas, Vaishnodevi temple in Jammu has got international acclaim as a much desired pilgrim centre. Dedicated to Mother goddess Vaishnodevi, this fabulous shrine allures millions of devotees across the globe. A deep sense of devotion and trust helps the devotees to mount the tedious journey of 13 kilometers to have a darshan.