Vaishno Devi is a sacred pilgrimage site in the picturesque Trikuta Mountains in Jammu and Kashmir. Dedicated to Goddess Vaishno Devi, pilgrims flock to this Temple for divine blessings and spiritual peace. The Temple attracts millions of tourists annually from all around the world and is the second most-visited Temple in India. To ensure a comfortable and enjoyable pilgrimage, book a Savaari cab, which offers a convenient and reliable way to reach Vaishno Devi temple and explore the surrounding areas. If you are planning a visit to the Temple, then pack your bags for a soul-stirring journey to seek the divine blessings of Vaishno Devi.
Table of Content
- About Vaishno Devi temple
- Vaishno Devi temple darshan timings
- Vaishno Devi Temple dress code
- Sevas and poojas at Vaishno Devi temple
- Vaishno Devi temple entry fee and pooja charges
- Other attractions near Vaishno Devi temple
- How to plan a trip to Vaishno Devi temple
- Hotels and resorts near Vaishno Devi temple
- Why visiting Vaishno Devi temple should be on your following travel list
About Vaishno Devi temple
“Jai Mata Di” – the spiritual sound of these three words reverberates in the Trikuta Hills every year when thousands of pilgrims take the stairs to Vaishno Devi Temple. Also known as Mata Rani, Vaishno Devi is believed to be a manifestation of Goddess Shakti, and the Temple is dedicated to her. It is located at an altitude of around 5,200 feet above sea level. While there is no record of the exact date of the construction of the Temple, many devotees believe that the shrine was built around the 11th or 12th Century AD. The government has extended numerous facilities to make the pilgrimage comfortable and fulfilling.
Deity of Vaishno Devi temple
Vaishno Devi, a manifestation of Goddess Shakti, is the presiding deity of the Vaishno Devi Temple. Goddess Shakti represents divine feminine energy and stands for the creative power of the universe. The Temple is created in a cave that is believed to have been the abode of Mata Rani. The cave has three rock formations (pindis), each depicting her three forms. These are Mata Kali, Mata Lakshmi, and Mata Sarawati. These pindis are surrounded by a silver frame. Also, there is a shrine dedicated to the powerful demon Bhairavnath. He was defeated by Vaishno Devi and turned into a devotee.
Where is Vaishno Devi temple located?
The Temple is in the town of Katra in the Reasi district in Jammu and Kashmir. It is at the top of Trikuta Hills at around 5,200 feet above sea level. The town of Katra is at a distance of nearly 42 km from Jammu. Therefore, Pilgrims are required to trek about 13.5 km from the base camp at Katra to reach the Temple. Alternatively, they can take a helicopter ride to Sanjichhat and trek for around 2.5 km (approximately 30 minutes) to get the Temple.
Vaishno Devi temple history
The Temple is built in a million-year-old cave up in the Trikuta Hills. Many stories highlight the significance of this cave and the presence of the divine Goddess here. According to a legend, Goddess Shakti took the form of Vaishno Devi and appeared on Earth as a little girl to rid the world of evil. She started living in the cave and meditating. As word of her divinity spread, people started visiting the cave to seek her blessings and soon built a shrine at the site. Eventually, a powerful demon named Bhairavnath decided to capture the Goddess. He ended up being vanquished by her. He became a devotee and it is believed that his spirit still lingers around the Temple.
Best time to visit Vaishno Devi temple
The Temple is open throughout the year and you can visit it at any time. However, given the altitude and weather conditions, the peak season is from March to November when the weather is mild and ideal for the trek. The temperatures during these months range between 10 and 30 degrees and the weather is overall pleasant. Many people also visit the Temple during winter provided they can brave the cold. The views of the snow-covered landscape are worth the added effort. Also, Navratri is believed to be an auspicious time to visit the Temple and believed to take the pilgrim one step closer to attaining heaven.
Interesting facts about Vaishno Devi
Here are some interesting facts about Vaishno Devi:
- According to some stories, Mata Rani observed the Navratra to pray for the victory of Lord Rama against Ravana. In return, Rama blessed her with immortality and ensured that the world sang her praises.
- Since the three pindis in the Temple are naturally formed, no one has carved them. Moreover, a single rock forms these pindis, but they have different colors and textures.
- Ardhkuwari cave is located close to the Temple and resembles the womb. Pilgrims have to crawl to enter it. Interestingly, a person of any shape or size can easily crawl through the seemingly narrow entrance. People believe that on crossing the cave, they are freed of the cycle of life, death, and rebirth.
- It is believed to be one of the most powerful Shaktipeeths.
- Video cameras and other electronic equipment are not allowed. Hence, it is necessary to ensure their safekeeping before leaving Katra.
- The authorities will not allow you to go beyond the Banganga check post without a Yatra Registration Slip.
Vaishno Devi temple darshan timings
Regular darshan at the Temple is free. You have to register by making an online yatra registration on this website. You can book an Individual Poojan where you will not be present at the shrine. Names for which the Pooja has been registered will be chanted. You can also opt for an Individual Poojan where you are present at the shrine with a maximum of four family members. Further, the temple authorities offer a Shradha Suman Vishesh Puja (SSVP) for pilgrims who want to attend the Aarti Darshan of Mata Rani. These packages allow pilgrims to get VIP Darshan of Vaishno Devi along with the Pooja.
Vaishno Devi temple dress code
The authorities do not specify any dress code for visiting the temple. However, pilgrims should avoid wearing short or revealing clothes out of respect for the sentiments of other devotees. Additionally, the weather in Trikuta Hills can be unpredictable, so it is advisable to carry warm clothes even on bright and sunny days.
Sevas and poojas at Vaishno Devi temple
As mentioned above, there are two types of Pooja on Request available at the Temple:
Under this seva, the priests perform a Hawan every day in the Yagyashalla. During the Hawan, the name, gotra, etc. of the person in whose name the pooja has been booked are chanted. Moreover, the priest offers prayers for their prosperity and overall welfare. You can book the Individual Poojan online.
There are two categories of Individual Poojan:
1. Category A: Under this category, the priests perform the pooja in the name of the registered individual(s). However, they are not allowed to sit in the pooja at the Temple. After the pooja is done, the prashad is couriered to them at the given address.
2. Category B: Under this category, the registered person can attend the pooja at the Temple along with four other family members.
Shradha Suman Vishesh Pooja (SSVP)
Under this seva, devotees can attend the Aarti Darshan of Mata Rani by purchasing a package as per their needs. Here are the categories available:
1. Category A: Aarti Darshan inside the cave is permitted only for one adult and one child (under 10 years). The package includes a helicopter/battery car ticket, a two-bedded AC room in Niharika, a two-bedded room at Bhavan, three meals at Katra or Bhavan, and prashad.
2. Category B: Aarti Darshan inside the cave is permitted for two adults and two children (under 10 years). The package includes helicopter/battery car tickets, a two-bedded AC room in Niharika, a two-bedded room at Bhavan, three meals at Katra or Bhavan, and prashad.
3. Category C: Aarti Darshan inside the cave is permitted for three adults and two children (under 10 years). The package includes helicopter/battery car tickets, a four-bedded AC room in Niharika, a four-bedded room at Bhavan, three meals at Katra or Bhavan, and prashad.
4. Category D: Aarti Darshan inside the cave is permitted for five adults and two children (under 10 years). The package includes helicopter/battery car tickets, a four-bedded AC room and a two-bedded AC room in Niharika, a four-bedded room and a two-bedded room at Bhavan, three meals at Katra or Bhavan, and prashad.
Vaishno Devi temple entry fee and pooja charges
There is no entry fee for visiting the Temple. Depending on when you are visiting, the darshan might take several hours. However, the Pooja on Request services are available on a donation basis that allows you to get Aarti Darshan too. Here are the details:
|Individual Poojan – Category A||2100|
|Individual Poojan – Category B||11000|
|Shradha Suman Vishesh Pooja – Category A (prescribed donation amount)||26000|
|Shradha Suman Vishesh Pooja – Category B (prescribed donation amount)||48000|
|Shradha Suman Vishesh Pooja – Category C (prescribed donation amount)||71000|
|Shradha Suman Vishesh Pooja – Category D (prescribed donation amount)||12100|
Vaishno Devi temple festivals
Here are some festivals that bring the entire town of Vaishno Devi to life and fill it with vibrancy and color:
This is one of the most important festivals celebrated at the Temple. It celebrates the victory of the Goddess over evil. This festival falls in the Hindu month of Ashvin (the English calendar month of September/October). The Temple is decorated by temple authorities and special poojas and hawans are done for the festival.
People celebrate Diwali with great enthusiasm and joy at the temple complex, which commemorates the triumph of good over evil. They light up diyas and decorate the entire temple complex with lights to mark the occasion. Devotees offer prayers to Mata Rani, seeking her blessings to help them overcome the darkness in their lives.
This is also a nine-day festival where devotees worship the nine incarnations of Goddess Durga:
The Temple makes special preparations to celebrate this festival too.
Other attractions near Vaishno Devi temple
Usually, when people visit Vaishno Devi Temple, their primary goal is to get darshan. Also, to have a spiritual experience, there are many other attractions in Katra and around to keep you enthralled. Jammu and Kashmir is a beautiful place with numerous opportunities for fun and relaxation.
Places to visit near Vaishno Devi temple
1. Bhairavnath Temple: A visit to the Temple is incomplete without visiting the Bhairavnath Temple. It is at a short distance from Vaishno Devi and is a must-visit for pilgrims. It is also nestled in beautiful surroundings making the trip worthy of some memorable pictures too. Distance from Vaishno Devi Temple = 2.5 km.
2. Shiv Khori: Believed to be one of the holiest shrines in Jammu and Kashmir, Shiv Khori is a cave with a naturally formed four-feet Shiv Ling. The unique thing about this cave is that a milky lime fluid constantly drips from the ceiling bathing the lingam. Additionally, there are numerous natural impressions and images of various Hindu Gods. Distance from Vaishno Devi Temple = 80 km
3. Sanasar: A lesser-known hill station in Jammu and Kashmir, Sanasar is the perfect destination for adventure enthusiasts. It is a cup-shaped meadow surrounded by sky-kissing conifer trees. There is a range of activities offered, including trekking, rock climbing, paragliding, etc. Distance from Vaishno Devi Temple = 130 km
4. Patnitop: This is a highly popular hill station offering mesmerizing views of the Himalayas and the Chenab basin. If you are planning a trip to Vaishno Devi during winter, then you can plan an outing to Patnitop for a skiing experience. Distance from Vaishno Devi Temple = 80 km
Places to eat in Vaishno Devi
Being the base camp for Vaishno Devi Temple, Katra has a lot of food options. It has evolved to cater to the varying needs of tourists and pilgrims. Here is a quick list:
1. Madhuban Sattvic Restaurant: This is a vegetarian restaurant offering a range of delicious Indian dishes. Try the Pani Puri and Hot and Sour Soup.
2. Prem Vaishno Dhaba: This is the oldest dhaba in Katra serving vegetarian Indian food without using onion or garlic. Do try the parathas and rajma chawal.
3. Pooja Vaishno Dhaba: Another amazing dhaba in Katra offering authentic vegetarian Indian dishes. Dishes are prepared without onion and garlic.
4. Punjabi Haveli: Located on the Jammu-Katra Highway, Punjabi Haveli is a spacious restaurant offering lip-smacking Punjabi and North Indian food. Do try Delhi Chaat while at the restaurant.
How to plan a trip to Vaishno Devi temple
You need to plan a trip to Vaishno Devi carefully. This is because there are some months when the number of pilgrims is high. Also, during winter the weather can be extreme making it difficult for people who are not comfortable with lower temperatures. Further, you need to register to visit the Temple and book any pooja online if you want. Lastly, staying updated about the region and packing carefully before leaving is important.
How to reach Vaishno Devi temple
Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra is the nearest railway station to Vaishno Devi Temple. It is around 20 km from the Temple. Regular trains from major cities in India halt at the station.
To manage the enormous influx of pilgrims and tourists, the government has ensured that Katra has good connectivity with the rest of the country via a well-established network of roads and highways. You can take a bus or hire a cab from cities like Jammu Tawi, Amritsar, Delhi, etc. Many people also hire a cab from Delhi to Vaishno Devi and travel via NH44 while stopping along some amazing eateries and soaking in the surroundings on the 11-hour drive.
Jammu Airport at Jammu is the closest airport to Vaishno Devi Temple. It is at a distance of around 50 km and a driving time of nearly one hour. You can take a bus from Jammu to Katra or hire a taxi from Jammu airport to reach Katra comfortably and in a hassle-free manner.
Hotels and resorts near Vaishno Devi temple
|Hotel Name||Address||Phone Number|
|Ramada by Wyndham||Station Road, Katra||+91 1991-234500|
|Vivanta Katra Vaishno Devi||Vivanta Katra, Vaishno Devi, Jammu-Katra Highway, Vaishnodevi, Manun, Distt, Katra||+91 1991-350200|
|The Divine Oak||Kun Road, near Hotel India Pride, Katra||9906015406|
|Cardinal Ambica||Vaishno Devi, Jammu Rd, Katra||9419763333|
|Best Western Swing High Katra||Best Western Swing High, Jammu Rd, near ICICI Bank, Katra||+91 1991-233944|
|Rosetree Lite Abrol Residency- Katra||Tea Garden, Katra||9419164757|
Why visiting Vaishno Devi temple should be on your next travel list
While Vaishno Devi is a pilgrimage site and devotees make sure that they try to visit the Temple and seek divine blessings at least once in their lifetime, it also attracts many travelers and explorers for its breathtaking landscapes and the energy that pilgrims bring. Hence, if you have not yet visited this magical place, then make sure that you include it on your next travel list. When you are planning a trip to Vaishno Devi, make sure that you make all travel and accommodation arrangements before time since especially during peak season. Moreover, to ensure a seamless and convenient journey, we recommend using the Savaari car rental app, which offers a hassle-free way to book a taxi and reach Vaishno Devi temple, as well as explore the surrounding areas. Remember, a well-planned trip is the foundation for extraordinary experiences.
Last Updated on May 26, 2023 by Pavitr Mittal