Mata Vaishno Devi Temple , Jammu
About Mata Vaishno Devi Temple
Vaishno Devi Temple is located near Katra and every year thousands of pilgrims visit Katra to undertake the 12 Km trek to the temple complex. The shrine is located in a cave atop Trikuta hills in the Himalayas and is famous for Mahakali, Mahasaraswati and Mahalaxmi in the form of Pindis. To undertake this trek one can either take ponies or palki or go on foot. There is a provision of helicopter service available from Katra to Sanjhichatt. After that the trek is gradual and one can even take battery operated tempos to complete the trek. There are lots of shops all along the way which provide basic necessities thus making it convenient for the pilgrims to take this pilgrimage.
Several facilities like, refreshment units, eateries, accomodation, medical facilities, restrooms etc. all through the way by the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board. The path to Bhawan(main temple complex) is well lit up and so most of the pilgrims start the climb at night.
The Bhairon Baba Temple is 2Km from Bhawan and its said that the yatra is not complete until one visits this temple also. Pilgrims can either hike to this temple from Bhawan, its quite steep, or, ponies can be hired.
The usual route taken for this yatra is, Katra->BanGanga->Charan Paduka->Adh Kuwari->Sanjhichatt->Bhawan->Bhairon Temple and back. But, now there is a new route constructed which is shorter and the slopes are gentler too. This route goes via Himkoti and bypasses Sanjhichatt, it is, Katra->BanGanga->Charan Paduka->Adh Kuwari->Bhawan->Bhairon Temple.