Vaishno Devi is a manifestation of the goddess Durga, according to Hindu mythology. As per the legend, the goddess was born as a young girl named Vaishnavi and set out on a spiritual quest to acquire heavenly powers. She meditated for years in the cave in the temple. Throughout the centuries that she spent there, she drew followers who prayed to her for blessings and divine grace. Even now, many pilgrims make the annual journey to this blessed temple. If you have been planning to take the yatra as well, here is all you need to know about it!
The History Of Vaishno Devi
The Vaishno Devi temple has been mentioned in history as far back as the eleventh century. Adi Shankara and Guru Gobind Singh, among other travellers, mentioned the temple’s existence and importance in their accounts. The Vaishno Devi temple underwent numerous renovations over the years. Millions of pilgrims travel from all over the world to the Vaishno Devi temple because it has become such a popular pilgrimage destination.
The Route To Reach The Temple
Usually, the journey starts with getting to Jammu, either by train or by plane. You will travel from Jammu to Katra, which serves as the Vaishno Devi Yatra’s base camp. It is accessible by road and is situated about 42 kilometres from Jammu.
- Officially, the Yatra begins at Katra’s Darshani Darwaza.
- Around 1.5 kilometres from Darshani Darwaza, Banganga is the first stop on the Yatra.
- Pilgrims continue their ascent from Banganga to Charan Paduka, which is about 2.5 kilometres away.
- Pilgrims travel from Charan Paduka to Adhkuwari over a distance of about 6 kilometres. It is a significant location where Mata Vaishno Devi is reputed to have meditated for nine months.
- From Adhkuwari, the route continues toward Sanjichhat, which is located roughly 9.5 kilometres away. Sanjichhat is a rest area with amenities like food stands, first aid, and restrooms
- The Bhawan, situated at an elevation of roughly 5,200 feet, is reached after a climb of about 2.5 kilometres from Sanjichhat.
The Vaishno Devi temple at Bhawan is home to the goddess’ sacred cave shrine. When visitors arrive at the Bhawan, they offer prayers and ask Vaishno Devi for blessings.
Best Time To Visit
The months of March through May are the most popular for travel. The landscape is lush and green in the spring. You could also schedule a trip for the fall, from September to November. The monsoon season, however, brings a lot of rain to Vaishno Devi, which can cause landslides and disrupt the yatra.
Transport Options To Reach Katra
To get to Katra, the Vaishno Devi Yatra’s base camp, there are several transportation options. You can always take a flight to Jammu Airport. Major Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, and Kolkata are easily accessible from there. Another well-liked method of getting to Katra is by train, which has connections to many Indian cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Ahmedabad. Buses, taxis, and private vehicles can easily get to Katra thanks to its excellent road connections. Helicopter transportation is a quick and practical alternative from Jammu to Sanjichhat.
Once you reach Katra, the base camp, you can start your journey towards the Vaishno Devi temple on foot, by hiring a pony, or by renting an electric vehicle.
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