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    Mata Vaishno Devi Tour

Vaishno Devi 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 snowfall.
 

History
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 : Unaware about 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 for meditation.
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 the blow.
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 death.

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 Calcutta.

 
 

 

 

 

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