Located in Trikuta hills, 13 km from Katra (in Jammu and Kashmir) at the height of 1560 m above sea level this town is the holy cave temple of Mata Vaishnodevi. This famous shrine allures millions of devotees from all over the world. Popularly known as Mata Rani, Vaishno Goddess 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.
Revered and highly believed in, thousands of Pilgrims visit each year to seek blessings and show unflinching faith in this temple. Vaishno Devi is a religious trekking destination where pilgrims walk about 13 km uphill to reach the little caves which are among one of the 108 Shakti Peetha. It takes about 6 to 9 hours depending on the fitness, age and weather conditions. Ponies and palanquins, as well as helicopter services, are available by various vendors to take you there at the top. The whole way is decently paved with lots of shops selling snacks, food items and various religious goods. The pilgrims show their dedication and enthusiasm by shouting slogans and singing songs in the praise of Maa Vaishnavi all along the road. Natural splendours at its acme can be enjoyed throughout the sojourn.
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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.
Congested in peak seasons. Not ideal in winters, unless you are a snow enthusiast. Trek is not very simple for people of all ages.
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