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Vaishno Devi

4.3 /5 137 votes

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Best Time: Throughout the year Read More

Ideal duration: 1 day

Nearest Airport: Jammu Check Flights

"The Holy Caves"

Vaishno Devi Tourism

Located in Trikuta hills, 13 kms from Katra (in Jammu and Kashmir); Vaishno Devi is a town that's home to the famous Vaishno Devi Mandir. This renowned shrine allures millions of devotees from all over the world. Popularly known as Mata Rani, Vaishnavi and Trikuta, Vaishno Devi is a manifestation of the Hindu Goddess Durga. It is believed that during the pooja and aarti, Goddesses arrive at the Holy cave to pay their respect to Mata Rani. Devotees believe goddess herself calls the devotees to reach here. 

The Holy shrine board had inception in 1986, and the temple has witnessed an increasing number of devotees ever since. Vaishno Devi is a religious trekking destination where pilgrims walk about 13km uphill to reach the caves which are among one of the 108 Shakti Peetha. It takes about 6-9 hours depending on the weather and pace. Ponies and Palanquins, as well as helicopter services, are available by various vendors to take you up there. The whole way is decently paved with lots of shops selling snacks, food and religious goods. There was 85.87 Lakh of devotees in the year 2018.

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Trek From Katra to Vaishno Devi

The Vaishno Devi Bhawan is open for devotees 365 days and the governing body of the Bhawan has made it probable to do the trek 24 by 7. The complete trekking pathway is lit up for devotees. The dazzling ignited path is visible from the Katra bus stand. Along the trekking path, there are many stalls offering food, refreshments, tea, drinking water, medical aid, comfortable sitting benches, toilets etc. There are also police check posts at regular intervals. At the beginning of the trek, at Banganga check post, luggage scan and security check are conducted. The trek can be completed by horses, These horses can cover half of the trek.

Vaishno Devi Helicopter Services

The helicopter services to Vaishnodevi are extremely popular, and offer tourists a beautiful ride amongst the clouds to the temple. The services start from the foothills of the Katra and end at Sanjhichatti, and takes approximately 8 minutes. The temple is around 2.5kms from the helipad at Sanjhichatti. Around 5 to 6 passengers can be accommodated in one flight, and each one-way ticket costs INR 1005, while the round fare costs INR 2050 per passenger. Tickets can be availed at the heli-ticket counters, where valid ID proofs and travel documents have to be presented. The tickets can also be booked online (https://www.maavaishnodevi.org/OnlineServices/login.aspx).

The Holy Cave

Although many legends prevail behind the discovery of the Holy Cave, the most accepted one is that of Pandit Sridhar's journey to the same. A devout priest from a nearby village, Hansali, Pandit Shridhar was blessed by Goddess Vaishnavi for organizing a Bhandara in her honour. Her sudden disappearance depressed Shridhar to the core, and he took a fast unto death, hoping for the Goddess to reappear. Distressed by his vow, Goddess Vaishnavi reappeared in his dream and instructed him the way to discover her abode in the cave on Trikuta Hills. The moment he got up, he set off for the journey to the Holy Cave. After days of toiling and travelling long distances, he found the Cave. It is then that Goddess Vaishnavi appeared in her true form and blessed him with four sons, and gave him the boon of being the official custodian of her Holy Cave. To this day, the successive generations of Pandit Shridhar honour this commitment.

The Religious Hotspot Of India

Known as 'The Wish-Fulfilling Goddess' or ' Mann Mange Murad Poore Karne Wali' in Hindi, Vaishno Devi is a pilgrimage hotspot located in Trikuta Hills at Katra, in the state of Jammu & Kashmir, India. In reality, Vaishno Devi is a trio of three Goddesses: Mahalaxmi, Mahasaraswati, and Mahakali, who joined forces to create the warrior Goddess Vaishnavi, who had slain the demon overlord Bhairon Nath, and blessed her topmost devotee, Thronged throughout the year by religious devotees, this pilgrimage is a near perfect amalgam of serenity and spiritualism. The view of the sunrise, as well as the sunset from the Trikuta Hills, is absolutely breathtaking. Not to forget, the charm of view the lighted Bhawan in the night, especially during snowfall will leave you astounded for sure. All in all, if you want some spiritualism and scenery combined, go for the holy site of Vaishno Devi.

Restaurants and Local Food in Vaishno Devi

Just as Vaishno has a distinct tint in terms of spirituality, religion, culture and traditions, it does so in cuisine too. The influence of these translates into a cuisine that stands out from a larger part of Jammu and Kashmir and borrows a lot from a typical Hindu cuisine. A number of restaurants here will also serve food without onion and garlic.
The local specialties here include chocolate barfi, Sund Panjeeri, Patisa, Rajma with rice, Kalaadi (a type of processed cheese), Kulthein di Dal, Aria (a dish made of potatoes) and Maa da Madra. Other than this traditional North Indian snacks are available and popular. However alcohol may be prohibited in most areas here.
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Suggested Itinerary

Day 1 - If you have reached Katra, preferably in the afternoon, take some rest, and visit the local market in the evening. There are umpteen choices of goods and crafts available here. In terms of accommodation, you can take up either a reservation in the available hotels or in the luxurious guest house built in the vicinity of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra railway station.
Day 2 - This is the day when you should ideally start off on your trip. After taking the Yatra slip from the regional office near Bus Stand, Katra, go for the Darshani Darwaza, from where the long trek officially begins. You shall start with Ban Ganga and moving on, cross Charan Paduka. Thereon, you would cross Adi / Ardh Kumari, the turning point for many travelers. By evening, you will have reached the Holy Bhawan. You can either continue your journey from here or rest for the day.
Day 3 - This is the day when your Darshan of the Holy Trinity is complete. Before heading down to the base, you should visit Bhairon Nath Mandir, which is the place where the demon overlord was beheaded. As per the boon given by Goddess Vaishnavi, pilgrims must pay a visit to Bhairon Mandir before heading down, or else, their trip will remain incomplete. Once done, you can head back to the base, either on foot or by the helicopter from Sanjhhi Chhat.

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Holidify's Opinion

What's Great?

Home to a spiritual culture. Revered site for Hindus. Well connected to the rest of India. A nice ambiance on the hills. Lovely in summers.

What's Not So Great?

Congested in peak seasons. Not ideal in winters, unless you are a snow enthusiast. Trek is not very simple for people of all ages.

For Whom?

Vaishno Devi is typically frequented by Hindus and Sikhs from North India. Vaishno Devi also sees a lot of religious devotees from other parts of the country.

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How To Reach Vaishno Devi

Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra railway station is the nearest railway station to the pilgrimage, some 20 km. Away from the Holy Bhawan. Although there is no direct flight connectivity, the nearest airport is in Jammu Tawi, which is some 46.7 km. away from Katra, if you travel via NH 144. Regular bus services ply between the base at Katra and other cities in India, primarily from Jammu Tawi, New Delhi, Amritsar etc. to begin with.  

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Q. What is the best time to visit vaishno Devi in Jammu & Kashmir?

DEEPAK BORUDE 2 months ago
Summer

Vaishno Devi Reviews

Your rating
???????? ??????? 1 year ago
Bahut hi shandaar jagah hai aur yaha aa ke kaafi aatmik shanti milti hai mataji ke darshan se saare dukh dur ho jate hsi
Anand SILCARB 1 year ago
YEHA AANE WALO KO MANIKAMNA CERTAINLY PURI HITI HAI ! JAI VaishnoDevi Mata !!! jab dil kare aa jaye bahut sunder anubhuti milegi jaisa aap aajtak scochtebhi nahi ho! www.silcarb.com
Roshanjit Thakur 1 year ago
It is advisable to avoid monsoons. The rush is relatively less during the monsoons but heavy downpour makes it a bit difficult to walk to the Bhavan.
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