Vaishnodevi
Photos
 
Brief

A manifestation of Goddess Durga, Mata Rani or Vaishno Devi, the temple of the mata, or the mother is located at the Trikuta Mountains in Jammu and Kashmir.

 
Travel Tips

The journey to Vaishno Devi is bound by hardships and difficulties. The place is risky and there are thousands who perish without visiting the temple at all. It is important to get health check up done as the trek tests the muscle. In case of muscle fatigue it is important to inform doctor. Prepare to shell out extra money for food and water even if hotels and shacks abound. Lastly, visiting Vaishno devi requires a lot of strength and therefore it is important to be always prepared.



When to visit

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • July
  • Aug
  • Sept
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
sprinkles Very Cold
  • 12.9° Max
  • 4.3° Min
  • 3.0 mm
  • Carry Heavy woollen
 
Things to do

As is with all other pilgrimages, the yatra is incomplete, without the call of the goddess herself. People still have their share of doubt regarding this concept, but once this pilgrimage is undertaken, the sanctity achieved can be described by no other words. One of the most famous pilgrimages only after the Tirumala Venkateshwara Temple, it remains to be one of the most revered shrines in India that is visited by more than 8 million pilgrims every year.

Once you board off the train, it is here you will realize the diving calling- and your frantic answer to visit the Holy Mother. Katra takes about 2 hours to reach and from there it is mostly trekking through arduous trails of beauty and serenity. The entire route is filled with cold streams and lush green meadows that take a whole new definition of the term beauty. Army camps are another common thing to see along the road. Food stalls are rare and the heat of the sun is felt while trekking to the place. Several boards guide you the way to the ultimate destination of the Mother.

The pilgrimage finally begins from Katra. Well paved path and flanked with shops all around the way to Adhkuwari, you will be surprised that Vaishno Devi is commercialized and has all the options from travelling in palanquins like the royals, trek, or even take horses on ponies. Since the trek begins in night, the view is exhilarating to the senses. Food stalls serves the maggi, the official staple diet for most people, however it is overpriced.

Vaishno Devi is a popular place and as with all such places, it is too adorned by plastic bags and other things that pollute the area beyond repair. What is worse is this is inspite of dustbins and regular sweepers who are constantly cleaning the area. The first visiting area is the Adhkuwari which acted as a sanctuary for ma from Bhairav, a powerful tantric. To be able to fight this powerful man, she emerged as Maha Kali where she devoured the demon and flung his head some 2 kms away from the road. However, as it is with all other things, penance gives salvation and the demons attain this.

The original cave has long ceased to be accessible and the new adornments and statures flank the area. The last bit of the pilgrimage after the Mata Darshan is visiting Bhairon where the path comes to a complete circle.

In Hindu religion, people believe that it is essential to purge your soul before visiting the Gods or Goddesses but in Vaishno Devi, your spirituality, patience and perseverance are all tested. Travelling up the path, the tired pilgrim lets go of his sin and comes across anew and serene. The hardships accrued may be taxing on the body and the mind, but it is only when you reach the comforts of your home, do you understand the vast meaning of it all.

 
Places to Stay

Luxurious hotels

KC Residency

Address: Vaishnodevi Katra

Hotel Swing High

Address: Jammu Road

The White Hotel

Address: Katra Reasi Road

 

Mid range hotel

The Vaishnodevi

Address : Jammu Road

Hotel Asia Vaishnodevi

Address : Jammu Road

Hotel Devi Grand

Address : Near katra Toll barrier Reasi Road

 

Low range hotel

Hotel KK International

Address : Hospital Road, Opp. Ashiyana Hotel

Hotel Kapoor Palace

Address : Main bazaar

Hotel Prem International

Address : Jammu Road Katra

 
How to Reach

  • The Jammu airport is located at about 48 kms away and most of major flight services are operational. From the airport, you can take a bus to Katra.
  • The nearest railway station is Jammu Tawi which is also well linked to the other major cities in India. Most pilgrims prefer the train.
  • Katra can also be reached by road as there are regular taxis, buses and other transport services that ply. The nearby places are Dera Baba Banda (30 kms) Jammu (50 kms) and Shiv Khori Shrine (85 kms)

 
Surrounding Attractions

The Vaishnodevi does not have any surrounding attractions as such other than the three major pilgrimage sites. To visit them takes perseverance and it is therefore important to be pertinent throughout.

 
Important Numbers

Tourist Reception Center : Telephone: +91-1991-232005

Yatra Counter : Telephone: +91-1991-232092

Block Medical Officer : Telephone: +91-1991-232127

Dak Bunglow Officer : Telephone: +91-1991-232009

ASP (Police) : Telephone: +91-1991-232235

S.H.O Katra: Telephone: +91-1991-232010