Shri Mata Vaishno Devi: Vaishno Devi Temple
Vaishno Devi Temple: Many people have great confidence in the MA Vaishno Devi and therefore every Hindu must visit the Vaishno Devi sanctuary at least once in a lifetime. This is considered one of the holiest religious goals in the world. The temple of Shri Mata Vaishno strategically located in three mountains that culminated in the cave. It is the most popular sanctuary in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Every day the temple was visited by more than 25 000 devotees climbing up the hill to pay special attention to the eyes.
There are so many things to write about the unusual experience we received after visiting this holy place. But in short, we can say that the visits of this pilgrimage are a real test of resistance and spirituality. When you visit the sanctuary, you will see people of all castes, color, creed, disadvantage, old, young, rich, poor-all gathered for a purpose and mark their presence in the holy places. The sanctuary of Vaishno Devi at the sight of the plain.
The temple of Sri Mata Vaishnodevi consists only of the temple. There is no room for accommodation, so the fans who live in Katra and traveled up to 12 km to get to the temple. Unlike the other temples in India, the temple here is not composed of only three stone idols called Pindies. The temple is open 24/7 throughout the year.
Devoted to sing the name of the eye and go up with bare feet to reach the goal. The famous slogan that is often repeated by the pilgrims who visit the glow was “JAI MATA DI“. There is a strong belief that one cannot achieve it unless the so-called spy. The temple is dedicated to the Shakti goddess. Mata Vaishno is an incarnation of the goddess Durga.
Vaishno Devi Yatra only gives you a unique experience you. In place of the Katra, amateurs begin Yatra and drive more than 12 km to get to the Darbar. During the trip, there is no discrimination between the rich and the poor, high and low. Not everyone is paying attention to a goal.
A kilometer from Katra is Banganga, this is the place where the eyes have put a sense of thirst. After 6 km, there is still the cave of Adhkawari. Some devotees also greet Adhkawari well after coming or going. The road to the cave is quite bright, and they are cleaned from time to time. There are stores, cafes, and public services available for treks.
What does it signify?
The Vaishno Devi cave shrine invites hordes of pilgrims from far and wide. The sacred cave measures 30 m in length and 1½ m in height. The shrine is accessible through Katra, which is located at a distance of 13 km from the shrine. Katra is the base for the pilgrimage. From Katra, pilgrims climb up 1 km to Banganga where the goddess is said to have stopped for drinking water. Moving ahead 6 km, one arrives at the shrine called Ardhkuwari, where the goddess is believed to have meditated for a span of nine months. Bhawan, a halt for the devotees for wash and change, lies just before the actual shrine.
The Vaishno Devi shrine is dedicated to Vaishnavi, the human manifestation of Goddess Shakti. It is said to take the form of a human to achieve her destiny of finally merging with Lord Vishnu. Vaishnavi, as a young girl, displayed an extensive thirst for knowledge. She could find no answers to his questions and finally learned the art of meditation. Having realized the essence and importance of meditation or Tapasya, Vaishnavi renounced the worldly comfort and went into the forest to meditate in solitude. While in the forest, Vaishnavi came across Rama who was in exile. Rama advised her to establish an Ashram at the base of the Trikuta Hills and go on with her self-mortification.
What beckons devotees?
The Yatra begins at Katra and the pilgrims have to cover a distance of 13 km to reach the Darbar. One kilometer away from Katra is Banganga, where Mata is said to have quenched her thirst. Moving 6 km further down, one arrives at Adhkuwari, the holy cave. Pilgrims wash and change at Bhawan before finally entering the cave shrine.
Bhawan, pilgrims buy Prashads (Offering to the God) and other offerings. Here is issued a token no. on producing the Yatra ticket. The token provided bears the group no. and the time for the Yatri’s turn. The pilgrims have to enter individually, for the tunnel to the shrine is very narrow and needs care. However, they return via a different route that takes them to the shrine of Bhairon.
The cave measures about ninety-eight feet in length. Here one can observe symbols of the pantheon of Indian gods. On the left-hand side at the mouth of the tunnel one can also see the symbol of VakraTundaGanesha. Crawling into the holy cave through the natural tunnel, one crosses over the Dads of BhairoNath, who was beheaded by the Goddess. As you move further wading through the water you come across a number of mystical signs and symbols relating to Hindu mythology.
Goddess Shakti, in her incarnation of Vaishnavi, resides in the cave in a petrified rock-form. Here she is manifested in her three forms- Maha Lakshmi, Maha Kali, and MahaSaraswati. These are the ultimate destination for the pilgrims and are located 91 feet inside the cave.
The Arti (Worshipping) of the Mata is performed twice daily- at sunrise and at sunset. The cave remains closed for the period the Arti is performed. The Arti usually takes two hours to complete. During the session, only the Pujaris, the Sahayaks, and an officer is allowed inside. Mantras are chanted and AtamPooja, for their own purification, is performed.
What is the best time?
March to April and September to October is the Yatra season. The best time to visit is between the months of March and July.