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Vaishno Devi

Vaishno DeviVaishno Devi Mandir is one of the holiest Hindu temples dedicated to Shakti, located in the hill of Vaishno Devi, Jammu and Kashmir, India. In Hinduism, Vaishno Devi, also known as Mata Rani and Vaishnavi, is a manifestation of the Mother Goddess.

The temple is near the town of Katra, in Udhampur district in the state of Jammu and Kashmir,. It is one of the most revered places of worship in Northern India. The shrine is at an altitude of 5200 feet and a distance of approximately 12 kilometres (7.45 miles) from Katra. Million of pilgrims visit the temple every year and is the second most visited religious shrine in India, after Tirupati Balaji Mandir. The Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board maintains the shrine. A rail link from Udhampur to Katra is being built to facilitate pilgrimage.

As the legend goes, more than 700 years ago, Vaishno Devi, a devotes of Lord Vishnu used to pray to Lord Ram had taken vow of celibacy.BhaironNath , a tantrick (demon-God) tried to behold her and gave a chase.

Vaishno Devi Mandir is one of the holiest Hindu temples dedicated to Shakti, located in the hill of Vaishno Devi, Jammu and Kashmir, India. In Hinduism, Vaishno Devi, also known as Mata Rani and Vaishnavi, is a manifestation of the Mother Goddess.

The temple is near the town of Katra, in Udhampur district in the state of Jammu and Kashmir,. It is one of the most revered places of worship in Northern India. The shrine is at an altitude of 5200 feet and a distance of approximately 12 kilometres (7.45 miles) from Katra. Million of pilgrims visit the temple every year and is the second most visited religious shrine in India, after Tirupati Balaji Mandir. The Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board maintains the shrine. A rail link from Udhampur to Katra is being built to facilitate pilgrimage.

As the legend goes, more than 700 years ago, Vaishno Devi, a devotes of Lord Vishnu used to pray to Lord Ram had taken vow of celibacy.BhaironNath , a tantrick (demon-God) tried to behold her and gave a chase.

The Goddess felt thirsty at Banganga and shot an arrow into the earth from where water gushed out. The Goddess then meditated in the cave at Adhkawari. It took Bairon Nath nine month 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. On arriving at the holy cave at Darbar, she assumed the form of Maha Kali and cut of Bhairon Nath's head which was flung up the mountain by the force of blow and fell at the place where the Bhairon Temple is now located . The boulder at the mouth of the holy cave according to the legend is petrified torso of Bhairon nath .

who was granted divine forgiveness by the benevolent Mata in his dying moments.
The shrine of Vaishno Devi is located in the Trikuta Mountains at a height of 5200 feet above sea level. It is 61 km north of the city of Jammu.

Accessibility -
By air - The nearest airport is at Jammu (48 km from Katra).
By rail - The nearest railway station is also at Jammu.
By road - Jammu is well connected by the Inter State Bus Service and buses leave for Katra every 10 minutes between 5.30 am to 8.30 pm from the main bus stand. You can also hire private taxis till Katra from Jammu Railway Station, Airport or the Tourist Reception Center.

Accomodation - As people from all walks of life visit the Vaishno Devi Shrine accommodation for all budgets is available. These range from private hotels to Yatri Niwas managed by the Shrine board and guesthouses of the Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Department.
The Vaishno Devi Yatra begins at Katra. The distance from here to the Darbar is 13 km and should be covered by foot. On the way, at a distance of 1 km from Katra is Banganga where Mata drew out water by piercing an arrow into the ground. 6 km away lies the holy cave at Adhkawari.
To cross the Banganga checkpost you need a yatra registration slip from from the Yatra Registration Counter at the Tourism Reception Centre located at the Katra Bus Stand. The Yatra Slip is free but mandatory to commence the Yatra.
People who find it difficult to climb the mountains can rent a pony or dandi (palanquin). Pithus (people who carry things on their back) can be hired for carrying children. The 13 km route is well built, wide and tiled and the whole path is lit up every night by powerful sodium vapor lamps. Due to the fact that so many people visit Vaishno Devi during the year all amenities and facilities required to make the yatra comfortable are provided. Shelters and cafeterias serving pure vegetarian food are set up throughout the route. Hygienic drinking water is also available. Public washrooms with automatic flushing systems to maintain cleanliness can be found located all along the yatra track.

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