Vashno Devi Temple - The Holy Abode of Goddess Shakti
It is also counted as one of the Shaktipeeths of Goddess Durga.
Location: The pious temple of Mata Rani is nestled on the mighty Trikuta mountain of the Shivalik range.
This holy place is just 12 km(7.
46 miles) from Katra town of Udhampur district of Jammu and Kashmir.
Fact File: This beautiful temple is the second most visited temple of India and has three sacred pindies(stones) which are worshipped as Mahalaxmi, Mahakali and Mahasaraswati.
There is a sacred cave which is 30m long and one and half meter high.
These three pindies are available in this cave.
According to a legend, this is the only place where Maa Vaishno Devi merged her human form with astral form of her creators namely Lord Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh, the three Supreme energies of Universe.
Nearby Excursion Places: Shivkhori: Positioned at a distance of approximately 70 km (43.
50 miles) from Katra, Shivkhori is a holy cave dedicated to Lord Shiva.
It has a naturally formed Shiv-lingam, which is of 4ft height.
Baba Dhansar Temple: This is another temple which is dedicated to Lord Shiva and built on the way to the Salal Dam, just 10 km (6.
21miles) from Katra.
Here, you can see a huge spring that emerges from the rocks amidst a jungle.
Every year during Shivratri, a fair is organize at this place.
Patnitop: Situated approximately 85 km (52.
82 miles) from Katra, Patnitop is a picturesque hill resort that is positioned at the top of beautiful plateau at a height of 2024m.
It is a famous picnic spot and also ideal for peaceful walks and panoramic views of the mountainous Chenab basin.
Dera Baba Banda: It is a sacred shrine, revered by both Hindus and Sikh pilgrims.
Activities To Do: Beside worshiping at Vaishno Devi temple, pilgrims and travellers can also engage themselves in various other activities such as body massage and shopping at Katra.
Best Time To Visit: Tourist can visit Viashnno devi temple throughout the year but avoid the winter season because during this season the route is often blocked by snow-fall.
How To Reach: Vaishno Devi can be easily reached by all three modes of communication.
Katra town in Jammu district serves as the base camp to reach Vaishno Devi.
Regular bus services are available from the Katra bus stand.
Even there is rail link from Udhampur to Katra to enable the pilgrims.
Last but not the least, pilgrims can also reach the shrine via air travel.
Helicopter service is also available at Katra.
The heliport here is just 1 km (0.
6 miles) away from the main market on Kashmiri Road.
So, immediately plan a India travel and visit the holy Vaishno Devi shrine.