Shri Mata Vaishno Devi is a hindu temple encircled by heavenly mountain valley placed within the lovely Indian state of Jammu and Kasmir .
The primary mention of the Mother deity is within the epic Mahabharat. when the armies of Pandavs and Kaurvas were arrayed in the battleground of Kurukshetra, Arjun, the chief warrior of Pandavs upon recommendation of Sri Krishna meditated upon the Mother goddess and wanted Her blessings for success. this is when Arjun addresses the Mother goddess as ‘Jambookatak Chityaishu Nityam Sannihitalaye’, which implies ‘you who always dwell within the temple on the slope of the mountain in Jamboo’ .
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It’s also usually believed that the Pandavs were the first to build the temples at Kol Kandoli and Bhawan in reverence and feeling for the Mother goddess. On a mountain, simply adjacent to the Trikuta Mountain and overlooking the Holy Cave are 5 stone structures, that are believed to be the rock symbols of the 5 Pandavs.
Some traditions believe this Shrine to be the holiest of all Shaktipeeths (a place where the Mother deity, the Eternal Energy has Her abode) since the skull of Mata Sati fell here.
It’s then that Mata Vaishnavi appeared in his vision (dream) and told him to look for her at the Holy Cave situated amidst the folds of the Trikuta Mountain. She showed him the way to the Holy Cave and insisted him to break his fast. Pandit Shridhar then went on to get the Holy cave in the mountains. when he appeared to lose the way, the vision of his dreams reappeared before his eyes and eventually he reached his destination. Upon getting into the Cave he found a rock type with 3 heads atop it.
At that moment Mata Vaishno Devi appeared before him altogether her glory (another version says that the Supreme Energies of Mata maha Saraswati, Mata maha Lakshmi and Mata maha Kali appeared within the Holy Cave) and introduced him to the 3 heads (now called the Holy Pindies) of the rock form beside varied other identification marks within the Holy Cave. She blessed him with a boon of 4 sons and a right to worship her manifestation and asked him to spread the glory of the Holy Shrine everywhere. Pandit Shridhar then spent his remaining life in the service of Mata at the Holy Cave.
How to Reach Mata Vaishno Devi Temple?
Jammu aerodrome, or Sarwari airport, is that the nearest airfield that serves Katra. Regular air services ply for Katra through this airport. Once you have got touched down, take a taxi from the airport and voila, you reach Katra in an hour. Buses are also available for this route. In Katra, however, helicopter services are available for the main Bhawan till Sanjhhi Chat, which is some 5 km. from the Holy Bhawan.
Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra depot at Katra is that the nearest railroad terminal from the holy cave of Vaishno Devi. Regular train services ply from nearly each major town of Bharat, that earlier stopped at Jammu Tawi. Luxurious accommodation is additionally offered simply close to the depot
Regular bus services ply to and fro the bottom of the pilgrimage, that’s Katra. Buses, at extraordinarily reasonable rates, ar offered from places like new delhi, Amritsar, Jammu Tawi as the list goes on.
Ways To Reach To Shrine (From Katra)
The temple or Bhawan is 13.5 km from Katra, and devotees who go there to seek blessing have to trek, or take ponies or palkhis, but the easiest and the fastest way to reach there is via helicopters. You can opt for helicopter services up to Sanjichhat, which is 9.5 km from Katra.
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- Address: Bhavan, Katra, Jammu and Kashmir 182301
- Phone: 01991 234 053
- Elevation: 1,584.96 m (5,200 ft)
- Festivals: Navratri, Durga Puja
- Entry Fee: No Entry Fee
- Diety: Vaishno Devi
- Affiliation: Hinduism
- Camera: Not Allowed
- Dress Code: No Dress code specified
- Temple Timings: 5:00 AM to 12:00 PM & 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM
- Pooja timings: The ‘Aarti’ of the Goddess is performed twice a day first time in the morning just before the sunrise and second time in the evening immediately after the sunset.
- The ancient cave as the Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine holds lot of importance. It is believed that this cave preserves the body of Bhairo Nath whom the Goddess killed with her Trishul (Trident). The legend has it when Vaishnavi Devi beheaded Bhairo Nath, his head flew to the Bhairav Valley and his rest of the body remained in the cave.
- It is said that a stream of Ganga flows through the cave. The devotees wash themselves with this water before heading to the temple.
- It is believed that the late Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh himself visited Vaishno Devi in his lifetime.
- Navaratri is considered the most auspicious time to visit Mata Vaishno Devi cave temples. Visiting Vaishno Devi Temple during the Navaratras is believed as being one step closer to attaining heaven.
- It is believed that Mata Vaishno Devi, who was also known as Trikuta observed the ‘Navratra’, to pray for the victory of Lord Rama against Ravana. It is also said that Lord Rama also ensured her that the entire world would sing her praises and revere her as Mata Vaishno Devi
Vaishno Devi Shrine Board:
The Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) on Sunday issued an advisory asking non-resident Indians and foreigners not to visit the temple for 28 days after landing in India in the wake of the coronavirus threat.
It also advised domestic pilgrims, having symptoms like cough, heavy fever and breathing problems, to reschedule or postpone their visit to the holy shrine located atop Trikuta hills in Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir.
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Where to stay?
For the benefit of the pilgrims, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board provides clean, well maintained and extremely economical accommodation. This accommodation is obtainable at Jammu (at Vaishnavi Dham, Kalika Dham and Saraswati Dham close to Railway Station), at Katra (at Niharika Yatri Niwas, Shakti Bhawan, and Ashirwad Bhawan placed at the Bus stand) Katra. Another dormitory accommodation, Trikuta Bhawan, Katra is obtainable at close to the second Yatra counter (YRC II). Accommodation is obtainable at Adkuwari, Sajichatt and at main Bhawan
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