Temple is the most-sought after pilgrimage of the
Hindus. Located at Trikoot Parvat, Mata Vaishno Mandir
is the holiest shrine of India and it is famous all
over the World. The temple is accessible by a journey
of 13 kms from Katra One kilometer away from
Katra, you would find Banganga, place where Mata
quenched her thirst and at 6 km., the holy cave at
Adhkawari. The Vaishno Devi hindu pilgrimage is
nestled in the Trikuta Mountain. It lies 61 km north
of Jammu in the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Perched at a height of 5,200 feet above the sea level,
Vaishno Devi is a cave in the lower Himalayas. Katra,
the town at the foot of the Trikuta hills is the base
camp for the Vaishno Devi shrine. Katra is 48 km from
Jammu, 650 km from Delhi .
The shrine is
visited all through the year, but the path is difficult
during the winters when the route is often blocked by
As the legend goes, more than 700 years ago Vaishno Devi a
devotee of Lord Vishnu, used to pray to Lord Rama and had
taken vow of celibacy. Bhairon Nath, a tantric (demon-God)
tried to behold Her. Making use of his tantric powers,
Bhairon Nath was able to see Her going towards the Trikuta
mountains and gave chase. The Goddess felt thirsty at
Banganga and shot an arrow into the earth from where water
gushed out. Charan Paduka, marked by the imprints of Her
feet, is the place where she rested. The Goddess then
meditated in the cave at Adhkawari. It took Bhairon Nath
nine months to locate Her, the reason why the cave is
known as Garbh Joon. Mata Vaishno Devi blasted an opening
at the other end of the cave with Her Trident when the
demon-God located Her.
Places around Vaishno Devi
Bhairon Nath :
the Goddess, Bhairon Nath started to chase the girl. The
Goddess ran to save herself, when she felt thirsty, she
shot an arrow in the ground and the water gushed out. Ever
since, the gush is flowing ceaselessly and is known as Ban
Ganga. Till date, the imprints of her feet are marked on
the banks of Ban Ganga and known as 'Charan Paduka'. After
this incident, the Goddess went into a cave at Ardhkuari
Bhairon Nath took around nine months to find this cave.
The meditation was disturbed when Bhairon came at the cave
and the Goddess made on opening at the other end of the
cave with her trident. From that time, this cave came to
be known as 'Garbha Joon'. The Goddess ran further on the
hill and when Bhairon tried to kill Vaishno Devi, she
emerged in the form of Maha Kali. She cut off Bhairon
Nath's head, which flung up the mountain by the force of
Today, Bhairon Temple is standing on the place where once
his head was knocked down. The area is known as Bhairon
Ghati and it is at a distance of 2.5 kms from the holy
cave. In the last moments, Bhairav Nath beseeched the
Goddess for forgiveness. Vaishno Devi knew that the
objective behind the attack was to attain salvation. The
Goddess liberated Bhairon from the cycle of life and
The Holy Cave of Shiv Khori is the abode of
Lord Shiva, situated at a distance of 70 km from Katra.
The cave is a real wonder to be seen and measures nearly a
kilometer in length with a four-feet-high naturally formed
Shiv-lingam at the heart of the sanctum sanctorum. A few
miles away from Katra is Pindian at the foot of the
Trikuta range. This spot is also dedicated to Vaishno Devi.
The temple of Baba Dhansar is dedicated to Lord
Shiva and is located at a distance of about 15 km from
Katra on way to Salal Dam. Here, a huge spring emerges
from the rocks in a thick grove of trees and forms a
number of small rapids before flowing into the holy
rivulet that merges with the Chenab River.
The sacred shrine of Dera Baba Banda is situated at
a distance of 30 km from Katra. It is a major Hindu-Sikh
pilgrimage center. According to local legend, Baba Banda
Bairaagi was Guru Gobind Singh's favorite 'Saint Soldier'
who constructed a Gurdwara on the banks of river Chenab,
where he spent his last days.
The legendary hero Baba Jitto's temple is situated
at village Aghar Jitto, which is just 5 km from Katra
town, on the Katra-Reasi Road. Baba Jitto, who was a
peasant by profession, was a staunch devotee of the
Goddess Vaishno Devi. He is remembered amongst the peasant
class for his revolutionary act of opposing the landlord's
oppression and subsequently laying down his life for this
cause. A big fair called 'Jhiri Mela' is still conducted
to commemorate the martyrdom of Baba Jitto at a place
called 'Jhiri', which is 20 km from Jammu.
HOW TO REACH
BY ROAD - Vaishno Devi Temple can be reached after
making a steep 13-km trek from the road head at Katra, the
town at the foot of the Trikuta hills. Several porters and
ponies are available at Katra on hire.
BY AIR - Jammu is the nearest airport. Jammu's civil
airport at Ranibagh is 9 km from the city center. Alliance
Air, a subsidiary of Indian Airlines, runs flights to and
from Delhi, Srinagar and Leh.
BY RAIL - Jammu is the nearest railhead, which lies on
the other side of the Tawi River. Jammu is very well
connected with all major destinations in India by rail.
Direct express trains link it with Mumbai, Delhi and