Vaishno Devi Yatra Tourist Guide , Jammu & Kashmir Tourist Guide , Jammu & Kashmir Tourism - Holiday Travel

Vaishno Devi Yatra Tourist Guide

Vaishno Devi Yatra Tourist Guide

Vaishno Devi Yatra Tourist Guide
  • Package Prices
    Starting from Rs 9999/- Including Jammu Site Seeing, PatniTop Visit with 2 nights in Katra
  • Location: Jammu & Kashmir,India -182301
  • Nearest Airport: Jammu
  • Nearest Train Station: Udhampur
  • How to reach: By Air : The nearest airport is in Jammu, which is 48 km from Katra. There is a helicopter service that departs from the airport to Sanjhi Chhat near Vaishno Devi. By Rail:The nearest railway station from Katra is the Udhampur railway station. By Road : Jammu and Kashmir State Road Transport Corporation buses operate to and fro from Jammu to Katra at regular intervals. Air-conditioned private deluxe buses and taxis are also available from Jammu to Katra.
  • Season to Visit: The main season for visiting Vaishno Devi shrine is from March till July. The area’s very cold through most of the year, so this is the best time to visit.

 

Mata Vaishno Devi Darshan Guide 2016

 

 

Good News for Vaishno Devi Darshan 2016 -

Now Reach Vaishno Devi directly by Train ( Jammu Udhampur Katra Train)

Catch Direct train to Vaishno Devi directly from Delhi & Kalka, Two Trains are running now for Maa Vaishno Devi Ji Till Katra, Delhi-Katra  Express and Kalka-Katra Express.

Already inagaurated by Prime miniter Shri Narinder Modi to facilitate the Vaishno Devi Yatra. Katra station boasts of several facilities for Vaishno Devi Yatris including A-class station, a VIP lounge and spacious parking lot. The four platforms will accommodate 26-coach trains.

 

Chalo Bulawa Aaya Hai - Mata Ne Bulaya hai - 

There is a famous saying that Pilgrims do not visit mata, infact it is Mata who calls its pilgrims and when Mata vaishno Devi Calls its devotees, There is a strong desire of its Bhakats to visit and have darshans of Mata vaishno Devi Ji. when you visit Mata vaishno devi, You will hear pilgrims singing "Maan Aap Bulandi", "Chalo Bulawa aaya hai mata ne Bulaya hai" - which means that The Mother Herself Calls!

You do need to be afraid of long and steep trek, you just needs to just take one step and leave the rest to Her and his journey gets completed with Her divine blessings. 

 

Mata Vaishno Devi Ji - What is there


The shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi is one of the most visited pilgrimage Devi Darhan sites in India. Situated at a height of 5,300 ft., the site is located inside a cave in trikuta hills at a height of 5,300 ft., in the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).

 

Vaishnodevi-Yatra-Darshan

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Vaishno Devi Temple Location

Vaishno Devi Ji is located 14 km from the town of Katra and 52 km north of Jammu. Katra is situated at 2,500 feet and takes about 2 hours to each from Jammu by bus.
 

This cave temple is 13 kms from katra, which is to be negotiated on foot by the yatris, as the devotees are called. Once at the entrance to the cave, the path turns into a narrow tunnel with a cold stream named the Charan Ganga running through it. The pilgrim has to wade through this to reach the sanctum sanctorum.

The holy cave shrine of Vaishno Devi is nestled in a beautiful recess of the Trikuta Mountains forming a part of the lower Himalayas. In the cave there are images of three deities viz. the Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and Mahasaraswati.

 
MatavaishnoDevi_StairsRoutetoMataBhavan
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Why Visit Mata Vaishno Devi In Monsoons and Winters

Benefits of Vaishno Devi darshan in Monsoon & Winters

Best Season to plan the yatra to  Mata Vaishno Devi Ji is during Monsoons or Winters. During the monsoons, Nature is at its scenic best with water falls and lush green surroundings. The winter months of December and January witness snow fall and it can prove to be a charming season for others to visit the Shrine.

The original Holy Cave of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji is also open during the winters and Darshans through this cave is a unique mystical experience.

A thumb rule to plan one's journey is to log on to this website and check out the pattern and number of pilgrims visiting the Holy Shrine. If the average number of pilgrims during a period is less than 15,000-18,000 on any given day, one can expect a comfortable trip and a satisfying Darshan of the Holy Pindies.

 

What To Carry during Monsoon & Winters

 

One needs to carry heavy woollen clothing during the winters. Blankets are available aplenty free of cost and there is no need to carry them. Umbrellas and rain coats are required during the rainy seasons. Shoes, cameras, walking sticks, torches, head bands, umbrellas and many more such articles are readily available on hire at various private shops all over Katra and also enroute to Holy Shrine. The quality of the some of them may not be very good and hence the pilgrims may need to check carefully the same before hiring or purchasing anything.

 

What to expect in Mata Vaishno Devi Darshan in Navratris

There is heavy rush  during summer months of May, June and July and the festival period of Chaitra Navratras (spring) and Sharad-Ashwin Navratras(Autumn) Navratras and New Year vacations. As a result of this rush, devotees have to often wait for 12-20 hours before having Mata Darshan. It is therefore strongly adviced, that these months to be avoided.

 

Things Required for Mata Vaishno Devi Foot Trek 

One may also need canvas shoes for the Yatra. Fancy shoes and footwear make it difficult to walk on the track and footwear with flat or platform soles are therefore recommended. For those going on foot, a walking stick is very helpful in negotiating the steep climbs. 

One needs to carry heavy woollen clothing during the winters. Blankets are available aplenty free of cost and there is no need to carry them. These blankets are issued against the returnable slip. Umbrellas and rain coats are required during the rainy seasons. Shoes, cameras, walking sticks, torches, head bands, umbrellas and many more such articles are readily available on hire at various private shops all over Katra and also enroute to Holy Shrine. The quality of the some of them may not be very good and hence the pilgrims may need to check carefully the same before hiring or purchasing anything.

 
 
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Yatra Parchi for Mata Vaishno Devi - Ban Ganga Check

Vaishno Devi yatra is open 24X7 365 days a year..Before you start the trip, you need to go to the Yatra Parchi Counter and register. A single person can register the whole group on a single slip.You need to cross Ban Ganga check post within 6 hours of issue of the Yatra Parchi. So, if you prefer to stay in Katra, You can arrange this Yatra Parchi. Parchi Counter opens from 6 AM to 10 PM.

 

Adi Kumari Garbh Zoon Parchi ( Sequence Number)
 

2nd parchi you need to take at Adi Kumari, where you need to take a sequence number to enter the Garbh Zoon.


Mata vaishno Devi Cave Darshan parchi ( Sequence Number)

Once you reach Vaishno Devi Bhawan, you need to take a third parchi after showing the Main parchi,  There is Yatra Slip Counter on the left hand side next to Manokamna Bhawan. This is a sequence number issuing counter just like one at Adi Kuwari Temple. You need to show your Yatra Slip issued at Katra to the person at the counter and he will give a sequence number for the group. This sequence number will give you an idea of expected crowd and time required to visit the holy cave of Mata Vaishno Devi.  Sometimes, during the lean period, you can go directly to the cave after getting your sequence number, because there is very less crowd.


T series Gulshan Kumar Free Langar - Jai Mata Di

T Series company of  Gulshan Kumar and now by his family is  running free langar at Ban Ganga for past over 25 years,  Imagine that a private company can run free langar for the pilgrims. Late Shri Gulshan Kumar ji's  Langar is located approx 500 meters from the Darshan Deodhi. Here free langar is available on 24X7 basis and you always see many people eating the prasad and food as well as standing in queues. Normally hot rajma chawal is served , which is enjoyed in cold weather and  gives you energy boost.  In addition, Morning Tea and evening tea is also available. There was general demand from the pilgrims that the Shrine Board should also run free langar at Vaishno Devi Bhawan. Gulshan Kumar was killed in 1997, however his family & sons has continued to run the free langar for Mata Vaishno Devi ji pilgrims at Ban Ganga.


Alternate Trek  from Adi Kuwari Temple:

There are two routes leading from Adi Kuwari Temple to the holy shrine “Bhawan”:

First one is just adjacent to the blanket issuing counter and it is the old traditional route going via Hathi Mattha and Sanjhichhat.  A person requires a 6 kms trek on this route to reach Bhawan. Hathi Mattha area has a steep climb like the forehead of an elephant, So this route is relatively difficult in terms of trekking compared to the another route. However, you can avail the services of Ponies, Porter and Palanquins on this route.


New Trek to Vaishno Mata

New Trek to Vaishno Devi Bhawan is more scenic,  you can enjoy the views of the valley from Himkoti and Devi Dwar. Also it has Facilities for snacks, drinks and foods are available on this route also.  This route starts about 500 meters before the Adi Kuwari Temple and goes to Bhawan via Himkoti. A small tunnel from Adi Kuwari connects to this route. This route is 5 kms long and it is a relatively easy trek compared to the first route. Route is easy with no major climb during the trek, but it faces many frequent landslides. On this route, Palanquins and porters are allowed, but ponies are not allowed.


Battery Operated Auto for Vaishno Devi

You can also choose to travel on Battery-Operated Vehicles on the new trek, and it cost of around Rs.350 per person till Bhawan. These 8-seater vehicles are basically for senior citizens and handicapped however exceptions are made some times on availability of seats. Please note that you can not board these vehicles at any intermediate points. If you are at Adi Kuwari Temple, then you need to go to second route via the tunnel and then walk below towards the vehicles stand for half kilometer to catch a battery-operated vehicle.

 

BATTERY CAR FARE BETWEEN ADHKUWARI AND BHAWAN

For devotees, there is the service of the Battery Car (Battery Auto-Rickshaw) to transport pilgrims on a 7-KM Yatra between Adhkuwari and the Bhawan. The devotees have to pay Rs 350 per person for availing the car service from Adhkuwari to the Bhawan while the return fare to Adhkuwari would be Rs 200.

 

Stay at Vaishno Devi Bhawan

What a divine way to stay for few days at Vaishno Devi Bhawan, There are accomodations available at Manokamna Bhawan and Saraswati Bhawan at Vaishno Devi Bhawan

At Mata vaishno Devi Bhawan, there are accomodations available at Manokamna Bhawan, they offer single , double AC or non-AC rooms and also the dormitory beds,  accommodation is also available on hourly payment basis. Normally, you have to book your accommodation from their Katra Office or you can even book these rooms online on Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board website. You can book these rooms 60 days in advance, Accomodations are also available at Sarswati Bhawan to stay in  Bhawan premises.


Vaishno Devi Darshan Timings

Vaishno Devi Darshans are not available during the Aarti times,  just before the sunrise and immediately after the sunset. The procedures of Aarti take nearly two hours to be completed, therefore you need to wait outside the cave during this.


Bathing Ghats at Vaishno Devi Ji


Before darshan, you should first go to the bathing ghats to take the bath  located at the extreme end of the Bhawan and remain open round the clock. There are separate bathing ghats for ladies and gents. The icy chilled cold water come out with a strong force from the many tap-pipes mounted in the wall, you feel divinity after this ritual bath.

Locker Facilities at Vaishno Devi Ji

After bath, you can deposit all your luggage in the lockers available at the different locations in the Bhawan premises. Two locker facilities are available below the stairs near the Yatra Slip Counter. The lockers are large enough to accommodate 3-4 carry bags. You should also deposite camera,  leather belt, leather purse and other items like pen, comb to avoid any inconvenience later on. These items are strictly prohibited inside the holy cave. However money, jeweleries, credit and debit cards are allowed along-with the prasad bought from the shops.

After depositing your luggage in the locker, wait for your turn near the main entrance. When your turn come, you will pass through a 500 meters long-gallery and a series of security checks before reaching to the holy cave of Mata Vaishno Devi. They also deposit the coconut from the prasad bag in the mid-way of this gallery and issue you a token. Later on, You have to deposit this token on another counter to get a coconut, after your return from the holy cave.


Shiva Cave Darshan at Vaishno Devi

You can also visit a Shiva Cave which is located at few stairs, below near the bathing ghats.

After visiting Shiva Cave, you can plan your further actions. You can take your luggage from lockers. You can get the foods at a food joint located near the bathing ghat. There are many other shops for foods and snacks located in the Bhawan premises. If you wish to take a rest and have the booking in Manokamna Bhawan, you can go there. If you do not have any bookings and still want to stay at Bhawan, you can also get the blankets by depositing Rs.100 per blanket as security money at the blanket issuing counter. After returning those blankets, you will get back your security money.


Best Food in Vaishno Devi Bhawan, View Points and Katra

Best Dhaba's in Katra

  • Pooja vaishno dhaba Katra
  • prem lahori vaishno dhaba
  • prem vaishno dhaba katra 
  • Manoranjan dhaba Katra
  • Jewels restaurant katra


Best Food Joints in Vaishno Devi

Shrine Board offers food and refreshments at  no-profit basis thus ensuring best quality and value for the money paid by the pilgrims. 

Refreshments like biscuits, cold-drinks tea, coffee, milk, mineral water, etc. are available along the way at refreshment Units of the Shrine Board. Nearly all of these refreshments joints are located best and panoramic view points.  There are a total of 12 such view points. 9 of these refreshment units (or view points) are located on the old track while 3 are located on the alternate track to Bhawan. 

The larger viewpoints serve meals, bread, buns also, while the smaller ones only serve packed snacks and beverages. In addition, oxygen cylinders, cassettes, milk for infants is also available at these viewpoints. 

Most of the viewpoints are located at or near Vishram Sthals (resting points). The Vishram Sthals are so called because track is covered with sheds here and benches or resting places are provided. In addition, toilets and drinking water points are also located nearby. In brief, there are adequate opportunities for rest, rejuvenation and eat and drink in and around the viewpoints and the Vishram Sthals. 


Food Menu at  Vaishno Devi

Most Selling items at Vaishno Devi is piping hot Rajma Rice, Samber Vada, Dal Rice. These are not only cheap but also very tasty. Rajma ( Red Kidney Beans) preparations is unique and Jammu famous Rajmah is used, which has distinct aroma and taste.

Shrine Board also runs five full-fledged Bhojanalyas ( one each at Adkuwari and Sanjichhat and three at main Bhawan) to provide wholesome and hygienic food to the pilgrims on no-profit basis. All food items are available at very cheap and affordable rates.

These Bhojanalyas run round the clock and serve a varied but traditional menu. 

  • Poori Channa    
  • Prantha    
  • Rajmah Rice    
  • Curd    
  • Dal    
  • Mix Vegetable    
  • Samber Vada
  • Dal Rice    
  • Kadi Pakora Rice    
  • Dahi Vada    
  • Tandoori Chapati
  • Malai Kofta    
  • Channa    
  • Milk    
  • Cheese Tomato
  • Rajmah    
  • Plain Rice          

 

Mata vaishno Devi - RATES OF PONIES, PITHOOS AND PALANQUINS (PALKIS)

 

  • Katra to Bhawan
  •  700.00/- ( Adult)
  •  800.00/- ( Adult + Child)

 

  • Katra to Adh-kumari or Adh-Kumari to Bhawan
  •  380.00/-
  •  430.00/-

 

  • Katra to Sanjichhat
  •  600.00/-
  •  675.00/-

 

  • Bhawan to Katra via Bharion
  •  850.00/-
  •  900.00/-

 

  • Bhawan to Sanjichhat or Bhawan to Bhairon
  •   275.00/-
  •  300.00/-

 

  • Bhawan to Adkuwari via Bharion
  •   425.00/-
  •  475.00/-

 
PITHOOS    Rates - Vaishno Devi - Lugguage upto 25 Kgs or  Children upto 6 Years of Age

  • Katra to Bhawan and back     700.00/-
  • Katra to Bhawan     350.00/-
  • Bhawan to Katra via Bhairon     400.00/-

 

PALANQUINS (PALKIS) Rates Vaishno Devi         

  • For a Yatri upto 100 Kgs weight (4 Carriers)
  • Katra to Bhawan & Back to Katra
  • 4000/-
  • Katra to Bhawan & Back Via Bhairon
  • 4500/-
  • Sanjichat Helipad to Bhawan
  •     
  • 1250/-
  • For a Yatri above 100 Kgs weight (6 Carriers)    4500/-    5000/-    1400/-
  •                 

 

 
 

KATRA TO VAISHNO DEVI HELICOPTER - SERVICE DETAILS

  • The Helicopters will operate subject to fair weather condition, clear visibility of the range prescribed by the DGCA and clearance by the ATC.
  • Helipad is approx. 2 Km. from Bus Stand Katra at Udhampur Road. Vaishnodevi Bhawan is approx. 2.5 Km. from Helipad Sanjichhat.
  • The flight from Katra to Sanjichhat takes a total of approx. 08 minutes.
  • Children below 2 years of age will be carried free of cost. However, such children shall be carried in the lap of the accompanying adult. In case of dispute regarding age of infant, valid proof of age shall be the deciding factor
  • 5-6 passengers can be accommodated in one flight. 

 

HELICOPTER FARE ( ONE WAY & RETURN)

 

  • One way fare from Katra to Sanjichhat or Sanjichhat to Katra (Fare Rs.1039 + Service Tax Rs.131 = Rs.1170/-) per passenger 
  • Return fair for Katra-Sanjichhat-Katra is (Fare Rs.2078 + Service Tax Rs.262 = Rs.2340/-) per passenger.

 

 

Katra to Vaishno Devi Tour by Walking

 

From Katra it is a steep 13 km walk to Mata ji's Bhawan. You can also rent a horse or be carried up from Katra. You can go up to the Mata vaishno Devi Ji and back in the same day.
 
Normal Duration of Trek ( Old Trek)
 
It takes about 4-5 hours to climb up and 3-4 hours to come down. Pilgrims must get a Yatra-Slip from the tourist reception center near the bus stand in Katra to get pass Ban Ganga. 
 

Mata Vaishno Devi - New Way /Road Trek ( 500 meter shorter and easier)
 
As the old trek is very steep at Hathimatha and gets congested due to heavy rush and ponies, A New and easy Trek was pkanned with very gentle slope  in 1990s. New Trek is shorter and easier than the old track and has been widely liked by the pilgrims. 

The alternate track starts from just below Adhkuwari near Inderprastha view point and terminates just short of Bhawan Complex. It is 500 meters shorter than the old track.

This track is much more wider as compared to the existing track and is also easier to walk because of gentle climb. Two view points, three sales outlet/ refreshment units, drinking waterpoints and water cooler have been constructed/ installed on the Track.

A number of Tea/Coffee, Soft Drinks sales outlets have been installed besides a Dosa point at Himkoti Viewpoint. Adequate number of Toilet blocks have been constructed on the Alternate Track with a view to provide clean public utilities to the visiting Devotees. Sufficient number of Shelter Sheds are also available. 

 

Mata Vaishno Devi Ji By Auto - Battery vehicle

A zero-emission battery vehicle is run on new track. Battery vehicle facility is available at Inderprasth (Adhkuwari) and Manokmana Bhawan for  sick and handicap devotees. The booking of facility is subject to availability.


Vaishno Devi Yatra Old Trek Route :: 

 
Katra -  Ban Ganga- Charan Paduka  -  Ardhya Kumari -Garbh Gupha - Hathi Mathha - Sanjhee Chhat -Mata Vaishno Devi Temple Bhawan   - Bhairo Madir - return yatra  to Katra
 

Katra to Mata vaishno Devi Trek Distance and Altitude

 
Name Distance Altitude ( feet)
Katra 00km 2500
Banganga 01km 2800
Charan Paduka 2.5Km 3380 
Ardhkumari 6.0 Km 4800
Himkoti 8.5km 5120
SanjiChhat 9.5Km 6200
Mata vaishno Devi Bhawan 13 km 5200
Bharon Ghati 14.5 Km 6619

 

 
 
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Vaishno Devi Darshan Tour Itinerary - By Helicopter (One way) & Return by Walking

 

Day 1-Arrival Jammu + Proceed to Katra

Our cab will pick guests from Jammu Airport/Railway station and transfer to Katra. Check in at Hotel, after refreshment proceeds for Katra site seeing & Shoppings
 

 

Day 2: Helicopter Tour to Mata vaishno Devi & Return Trek Back 

 

( Mata Vaishno Devi + Bharon Mandir + Ardh Kumari + Charan Paduka + Ban Ganga)

For Vaishno Devi Mata Darshan, Early Morning proceed for Mata Vaishno Devi Bhawan Via Pre-booked Helicopter. Helicopter will drop you at Sanjhi Chhat & from sanjhi Chhat, Mata Bhawan is only 2 kms. 

 

Vaishno Devi Bhawan Live Darshan ( 4 kms from Sanjhi Chhat)

Reach Mata Ka Bhawan from Sanjhi Chhat, It is a beautiful cave where the goddess is present in the form of three pindis. ‘Maha saraswati, maha laxmi and maha kaali,’ are the three forms of the mother durga. 

After Darshan, Trek back to Katra and Enroute Visit Bharon Mandir, Ardh Kumari, Charanm Paduka & Reach back Katra by late evening. 

 

Return Trek - Vaishno Devi Trek to Katra

 

1. Bharon Ghati and Bhairav Temple - On Return (2.5 kms from Bhavan)

After visiting the Vaishno Devi shrine, it is the custom for pilgrims to visit the bhairav temple situated about 2.5 km from the main shrine. This is the final destination of the Yatra. It is believed that the goddess fulfils the desires of her devotees who visit this temple after paying homage to her. So the Yatra is a very hard climb for the pilgrims though pleasant.

 

2. Sanjhi Chatt - 2th Point ( On Return)

After Bharon Mandir, Trek to Sanjhi Chhat, The trek is high up in the mountain and approx at a distance of 4 km is Sanjhi Chhat.

 

3. Hathi Mattha - 3rd Point on Return ( 2.5 kms)

After Sanjhi Chhat, the pigrims have to further descent to approx 2.5km to reach Hathi Matha. This is so called as the mountain is shaped like the forehead of an elephant.

 

4. Ardhkuwari - 4th Point ( 4.5 kms) - Rest at Ardhkumari

Now comes the half-way point between Katra and the shrine. This place is called ardh kuwari and many pilgrims stay here overnight to take rest. The goddess had hid herself for about nine months here in cave called garbha joon. It is 15 m long cave and the pilgrims have to crawl inside it to cross it. It is 4.5 km from charanpaduka.

 

5. Charanpaduka - 5th Point on Return (1.5 kms)

After Ardhkumari, there is a place where the ‘holy footprints or charanapaduka’ of the goddess is seen on a stone. This place is called charanpaduka.

 

6. Ban Ganga Temple - Last Point on Return ( 3 kms - 1 hour Trek from Katra)

Final point on return, After  this Katra is only 1 hour trek, the pilgrims reach Dakshini darwaza. Here is situated the Bhumika temple from where the three peaks of Trikuta mountains (abode of the goddess) is visible. It is believed that the goddess disappeared from here and reached the Ban Ganga temple.

It is said that the holy river Ban Ganga sprung from a stone when the goddess shot an arrow on it. She did so because veer langur was thirsty. The goddess washed her hair here so it called Ban Ganga.

Pilgrims can also take their bath here to purify themselves.

It is here that the slip bought from Katra is shown to move further. This place is around 3 km. from Katra.
 

Reach katra by late evening and Relax.

 

 

Walk from Katra to Vaishno devi Bhawan - Details and Guide

 

1. Ban Ganga Temple - 1st Point ( 3 kms - 1 hour Trek from Katra)


After  one hour trek from Katra, the pilgrims reach Dakshini darwaza. Here is situated the Bhumika temple from where the three peaks of Trikuta mountains (abode of the goddess) is visible. It is believed that the goddess disappeared from here and reached the Ban Ganga temple.

It is said that the holy river Ban Ganga sprung from a stone when the goddess shot an arrow on it. She did so because veer langur was thirsty. The goddess washed her hair here so it called Ban Ganga.

Pilgrims can also take their bath here to purify themselves.

It is here that the slip bought from Katra is shown to move further. This place is around 3 km. from Katra.
 

 

2. Charanpaduka - 2st Point (1.5 kms)

About 1.5 km from Ban Ganga, there is a place where the ‘holy footprints or charanapaduka’ of the goddess is seen on a stone. This place is called charanpaduka.
 

 

3. Ardhkuwari - 3rd Point ( 4.5 kms)

Now comes the half-way point between Katra and the shrine. This place is called ardh kuwari and many pilgrims stay here overnight to take rest. The goddess had hid herself for about nine months here in cave called garbha joon. It is 15 m long cave and the pilgrims have to crawl inside it to cross it. It is 4.5 km from charanpaduka.
 

 

4. Hathi Mattha - 4th Point ( 2.5 kms)

After ardh kuwari, the pigrims have to cross very steep paths for about 2.5km. This increasing slope is called the Hathi Mattha ascent. This is so called as the mountain is shaped like the forehead of an elephant.

 
5. Sanjhi Chatt - 5th Point

The footpath is a better option than the stairs here. It takes another 15, 00 ft climb to reach the Sanjhi chatt. From the Sanjhi chatt, the cave is at a distance of 4 km. very close to the Vaishno Devi caves is the Sri Ram temple where the pilgrims climb 125 steps downstairs to pay their homage to a Shiva lingam situated here.
 

 

6. Vaishno Devi Bhawan - Final Point ( 4 kms from Sanjhi Chhat)

Then finally the devotees reach this beautiful cave where the goddess is present in the form of three pindis. ‘Maha saraswati, maha laxmi and maha kaali,’ are the three forms of the mother durga. It here the demon Bhairon was slain by the goddess

 
7. Bharon Ghati and Bhairav Temple - On Return (2.5 kms)

After visiting the Vaishno Devi shrine, it is the custom for pilgrims to visit the bhairav temple situated about 2.5 km from the main shrine. This is the final destination of the Yatra. It is believed that the goddess fulfils the desires of her devotees who visit this temple after paying homage to her. So the Yatra is a very hard climb for the pilgrims though pleasant.

 

Care and Precautions for Vaishno Devi Yatra

 
On reaching Main Bhawan you may take rest and have a bath.  Please carefully note the following :-
 
The Aarti -The 'Aarti' of the Goddess is performed twice a day first time in the morning just before the sunrise and second time in the evening immediately after the sunset Please note that after Aarti there is a lot of rush of devotees. This whole procedure of Aarti  takes nearly two hours during which time the darshans remain suspended. Hence you must reach before Aarti or on after around 2 hours m to avoid rush.
 
Get your Group Number - Before beginning to join queue for Darshan, get your Group Number from Counter just before main Bhawan.
 
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•Keep these in Lockers : - It is free -Now  keep your belongings and Camera, mobile, pen, leather purse, leather belt, shoes, chappals, etc. Please note these items are never allowed. You have either to keep in the room of your stay or deposit all such items in the Safe Custody Lockers, which are provided free of cost. These lockers are almost in the beginning of Main Bhawan. Keep carefully the  token provided for the locker. If you forget and carry these items with you, you will not be allowed to be in que for Darshan in any condition. Take a lock and key with you if you prefer dormitory to stay for keeping your personal items in lockers.
 
Carry Prasad with you  - Please carry Prasad with you  from the Board's shop situated just before main Bhawan. After entering in line in Main Bhawan, you cannot buy prasad. However, even if you do not carry Prasad with you, you will be provided a Prasad after Darshan at the Prasad Chamber (of Board) after showing your Yatra Parchi. You may mix more Prasad afterwords to spread the holy prasad among your friends and relatives. Please note you will have to deposit the coconul of Prasad while in queue, which  will be returned to you after Darshan at the Reclaim Counter.
 

After Darshan you must visit Bhairo Temple which is at a distance of about 1.5 kms on hills. This route can also be covered by hiring horses. If you are visiting first time, it is said that Yatra is complete only when you visit Bhairo Temple. 

 
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                                                           Return Yatra from Vaishno Devi
 

Vaishno Devi By Helicopter

 
In case you have booked Helicopter, you can directly  return from Bairo Mandir to Sanjhee Chhat, where you  will board the Helicopter at the proposed time of travel. You may also take horse or begin return yatra on foot. It is always recommended  to hire horses.  On return, you may like to visit some temples in Jammu city.
 
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Katra to Maa vaishno Devi Bhawan - Modes of Transport
 
 

Mata Vaishno Devi Bhawan By Helicopter : Guide

If you have booked a helicopter service in your city  through internet or through air-ticket providers, you may now take a  Auto Rickshaw/taxi to reach Helipad in Katra, where-from you can proceed for your Yatra upto Sanjhee Chhat. It takes nore more than 10 minutes to reach there.

(On-foot, it takes more than 4 to 5 hrs). After reaching Sanjhee Chhat you have the option to complete 2 Kms. journey upto main bhawan either by foot or hiring horse servces. It is always advisable to hire horse services for comfort and time saving.

 
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                                                             Mata vaishno Devi By helicopter
 

 

Mata Vaishno Devi Bhawan By Horses

 
Please note that you have to cover a distance of about 15 Kms. on high hills. If you prefer to reach by foot, it will take aroud 4-5 hours ( or more if you take rests in Yatra) to reah. If you hire horse for the journey, you can cover this distance in not more than 2 hours. Horses are available at very nominal rate of Rs.320/- per horse. These rates are fixed by the Board.  Hiring of horse will save your time and energy.
 
 

Devi Mata Vaishno by Foot

You can opt for your Yatra on foot also. Although it is somewhat tiresome but it enables  you to view the scenic beauty of hills and darshan of holy places coming in the way like Ban ganga Charan Paduka, HimKoti, Ardha Kumari,etc.[ Banganga is situated on the bank of a small rivulet called Banganga and at a height of 2700 ft. ]. This holy place  is the first major station of yatra when the Yatri undertakes his on-foot journey from Katra to Bhawan.
 
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Reaching Devi Mata vaishno cave through Palki

This is recommended for very old and sick devotees.
 

Vaishno Devi Ji - The Original Cave and New Tunnel
 

While on the way to the Sanctum Sanctorum, one crosses a small  structure on the right hand side of which is a Cave opening. This is the original Cave leading to the Holy Pindies. In old days, the yatries used to reach the Sanctum Sanctorum through this cave only. Nowadays, this cave is kept closed for a large part of the year. Since this cave is quite narrow, it takes several minutes for a single person to cross it and reach the Sanctum Sanctorum.


Original Tunnels Only in Lean Periods

Therefore, two new tunnels have been built and utilised for fats track Darshans. One tunnel is used for the entrance and leads directly to the Sanctum Sanctorum. The other tunnel is used for exit. The original cave is opened during the lean periods or on traditional festivals or for ritualistic occasions. Obtaining Darshans through this Cave is a different experience altogether and pilgrims desirous of enjoying this Divine Bliss are well advised to plan their trip during the lean periods only.

When one crosses the portion where the original Cave is located, one walks further through a corridor on which numerous bells stand suspended from the ceiling. After walking a few yards, one reaches a broad platform where statues of the Lions, the mount of the Mother Goddess and a life size statue of the Mother Goddess are enshrined. This is the entrance of the new tunnels.

 Upon entering the tunnel, one should observe silence and carefully move in the queue. At the end of the tunnel is a raised marble platform on which the Divine Mother has revealed Herself in a natural rock form known as the Holy Pindies. Pilgrims should refrain from shouting slogans of praises inside the tunnel and around the Sanctum Sanctorum. This disturbs other pilgrims who may be interested in concentrating on the Darshans and on the description given by the priests.

 

Darshan of Holy Pindies

The priest sitting on the platform, informs the pilgrims about these Pindies, however since the time for Darshans is limited, one only gets a glimpse of the Holy Pindies and has to move further in order to keep the queue moving. It is reiterated that Darshans inside the Holy Cave are in the form of natural rock formations called Pindies. There are no statues, pictures or idols inside. All along the track and at the Bhawan, there are many photographs explaining the nature of Darshans inside the Holy Cave. Yatries should observe these carefully since these are meant to guide them towards the final Darshans in the Holy Cave.


Maa vaishno Devi Live Darshan

Darshans inside the Holy Cave are in the form of natural rock formations called Pindies. There are no statues, pictures or idols inside. All along the track and at the Bhawan, there are many photographs explaining the nature of Darshans inside the Holy Cave. Yatries should observe these carefully since these are meant to guide them towards the final Darshans in the Holy Cave.  

The Trikuta Mountain where the Shrine is located and the Holy Cave are the gateway to the dimension of Super Consciousness. And just like the Trikuta Mountain, which is one at the base but has three peaks (hence the name Trikoot),

The revelation of the Mother Goddess in the Holy Cave is in a natural rock form which is one at the base but has three heads at the top. These three heads in a natural rock form are known as the Holy Pindies and are worshipped as the revelation of the Mother Goddess.

The entire rock body is immersed in water, and a marble platform has now been constructed all around. The main Darshans remain to be of the three heads called the Holy Pindies.

The uniqueness of the Holy Pindies is that although they emanate from one single rock form, each one is distinctly different from the other two in colour and texture.

 

MAHA KALI - Right Side Pindi

Towards the right is the Holy Pindi of Mata Maha Kali (the Supreme Energy of Dissolution) in the colour associated with Her i.e. black. The Supreme Energy of dissolution is Mata Maha Kali. She represents the Tam Guna- the quality associated with the darker and unknown realms of life. Tam stands for darkness.

Since man’s knowledge about life is very limited and he remains in the dark about most of it, it is represented by the colour black which is associated with Mata Maha Kali. She is the basic source of all that is mystical and unknown to man. In her attribute of Maha Kali, the Mother Goddess constantly guides her devotees to conquer the forces of darkness. 

 

MAHA LAKSHMI - Centre Pindi
 

In the centre is the Holy Pindi of Mata Maha Lakshmi (the Supreme Energy of Maintenance) with a yellowish-red tinge, the colour associated with Mata Maha Lakshmi. Mata Maha Lakshmi is the Supreme Energy of Maintenance. She represents Rajas Guna- the quality of inspiration and effort, and is considered to be the basic source of wealth, prosperity, material gains, quality of life etc. Wealth and prosperity are better represented by the colour of gold, which is yellow, and hence associated with Mata Maha Lakshmi.


 
MAHA SARASWATI - Extreme Left Pindi

The Pindi to the extreme left of the viewer is worshipped as the Holy Pindi of Mata Maha Saraswati (the Supreme Energy of Creation). It has a whitish tinge when looked at attentively. White has also been considered the colour associated with Mata Maha Saraswati. Being the Supreme force of Creation, Mata Maha Saraswati is considered to be the basic source of all Creation, Knowledge, Wisdom, Righteousness, Art, Spiritualism, Piousness etc. 

Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji is considered to be an incarnation of the three Supreme Energies.

 

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