Mata Vaishno Devi -
One of the
most Religious & Hindu Pilgrimage destination in
India, is located in the state of Jammu & Kashmir.
Vaishno Devi Shrine is one of the oldest shrine of India,
located at a height of 5300 feet on the holy Trikuta Hills
of the Shivalik Hill Range. The Holy cave is 13 Kms from
the Base Camp Katra. The Town Katra is 50 Kms away from
Jammu and 35 Kms from District HQ Udhampur and is linked
by road. The Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine is one of the most
popular Shrines of India.
We, at KALRA TOURS & HOTELS Inc. welcomes you
to Holy Tour of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi. We offer journey
to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine & Hotel Booking in
Jammu/ Katra & all other travel arrangements.
lying in the foot of Trikuta Mountains, 48 kms from
Jammu, serves as the base camp for visiting the famous
shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi, which is approachable on
foot along a 13 kms long well laid footpath. Every year,
more than 4.5 million pilgrims pass through Katra on their
way to the holy shrine.
shrine of Mata Vasihno deviji or Trikuta Bhagwati (alt:
5,200 ft.) has been a beacon of faith and fulfilment to
millions of devotees from all over the world. The
pilgrimage to the Shrine holds great significance for the
Legend of Mata Vaishno Devi
the year throngs of people surge up the steep pathways
that cut across the Trikuta hillsides for mile after mile.
This show of faith is finely interwoven with the cultural
strands of the Indian subcontinent,
and these pathways have been trod on for many centuries
now. Popular belief holds that anybody who walks the
Himalayan trail to the goddesses's abode to ask for a boon
rarely goes back disappointed. Whatever be it, a new
enterprise or a forthcoming examination, marriage or
birth, the devout look up to the Mata For blessings and
guidance. There are many who journey year after year to
pay obeisance regardless of their faith or belief, creed
or class, caste or religion.
The Yatra to the holy shrine is as fascinating as the
legend associated with it. It goes that thousands of years
ago, a comely maiden called "Vaishnavi" have
been created by the three lords attained human form and
was a devotee of Lord Vishnu. Having taken a vow of
celibacy, she spent almost all her life in meditation and
prayers. In time she attained enormous spiritual powers
and is believed to have extracted an assurance from Lord
Rama that he will marry her in Kali-Yug if she persisted
in her spiritual quest.
This is why
she is also known as Adh Kanwari or the
Vaishno Devi established an ashram in the foothills of the
Trikuta Mountain and began to meditate. As predicted by
Lord Rama, her glory started spreading and people began to
flock to her ashram to seek her blessings. As time passed,
a Tantrik called Gorakh Nath (Demo God), who had a vision
of the episode between Lord Rama and Mata Vaishno Devi,
became curious and wanted to know more about her.
Accordingly, he sent his most able disciple `Bhairon Nath'
to find out. Bhairon Nath started observing her secretly
and realized that despite being a `Sadhvi', she always
carried a bow and arrows and was always surrounded by
langoor (apes) and a ferocious looking lion. Bhairon, the
demon God took a fancy to her. But the Mata spurned his
advances and fled to the Himalayas to continue her
On the way
the goddess felt thirsty at Banganga and shot an
arrow into the earth from where water gushed out. Charan
Paduka, which is marked by the imprints of her feet,
is the place where she rested.
then meditated in the cave at Adh Kanwari. It took
Bhairon nine months to locate her, that is why the cave
is known as Garbh Joon.
demon found her, Mata Vaishno Devi blasted an opening at
the other end of the cave with her trident and fled to the
Holy cave at Darbar (temple).
Bhairon was persistent and followed her there to harass
her. Then goddess became very angry and assuming the form
of Mata Kali, beheaded Bhairon outside the cave with the
aid of the flying disc gifted to her by Lord Krishna.
head of Bhairon fell at a distant hilltop. In his dying
moments, Bhairon begged and received divine forgiveness
from the goddess. Today, it is believed that the Yatra is
not complete unless the pilgrim has been to Bhairon ka
Mandir (2.6 km from the main sanctum) as well, after
the darshan of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi.
herself took up permanent abode in a cave in the Trikuta
Mountains by metamorphosing herself into three pindis (Rock).
This holy shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi is unique as it
contains the holiest of holy Pindis manifesting the Mata
in her three forms - Maha Kali, Maha Lakshmi and Maha
Saraswati - each form representing a particular attribute.
Maha Kali represents Tamas Guna, Tamas
meaning darkness. In her manifestation of Kali the
omnipotent, absolute and all pervasive, she is said to be
beyond fear and finite existence and is therefore able to
protect her devotees against fear and to give them
limitless peace. Maha Lakshmi represents Rajas
Guna, Rajas meaning prosperity. In this manifestation,
the goddess blesses her devotees with wealth and
prosperity for living a better life. Maha Saraswati represents
Sattav Guna, Sattav meaning wisdom and knowledge.
This manifestation enables her devotees to distinguish
between good and bad and helps them to adopt the right
path in life. The combination of these three attributes in
a single Shakti is a unique combination, which is what
makes it, revered all over the world.
a yatra slip only from the yatra registration counter
at the Tourist Reception Centre at the Katra bus stand
and no where else. Without an authentic yatra slip,
crossing of the Ban Ganga check post is not permitted.
official receipts for all payments made to the Shri
Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMV Shrine Board) as
well as those made to private vendors. Demand to see
official rate lists when making payments.
only the donation boxes provided by the SMV Shrine
Board. In case of donations at the donation counters
of the board at Katra (central office), Adhkawari,
Sanji Chhat and various points at the Bhawan and
obtain a formal receipt for the same.
to the shrine are exempt from income tax under the
Income Tax Act. Do contact the central office of the
Shrine Board located at Katra, or the Sub Divisional
Magistrate or Tehsildar in Room No. 8, Kalika Bhawan,
Durbar, or write to the Chief executive Officer, SMV
Shrine Board for any suggestions/complaints.
over straining yourself on the climb. Walk on the
paved track, instead of the stairs. Do not relax at
points where warning notices are displayed. Do not
break traffic discipline or try to over take others at
accommodation, with bedding facilities is provided by
the SMV Shrine Board on payment. Facilities for
booking of such accommodation fixed rates are
available at various offices of the Board.
maintain the sanctity of the place do not indulge in
playing cards, smoking or chewing betel (paan) at
Bhawan or en-route. Do not paint, stick posters or
disfigure signboards, and also avoid littering the
pilgrims are bound to you by their faith in the Mata.
Avoid playing transistors or tape recorders too loudly
or creating blockage or hindrances in the passages
meant for circulation of the yatris.
doctors are available at the Primary Health Centre,
Katra and at the dispensaries at Adhkawari and Bhawan,
round the clock. They are also available at the
evening clinic at Katra bus stand; open 2:00 to 8:00
p.m. Medical Aid Centres run by the SMV Shrine Board
provide necessary assistance to the pilgrims at the
Katra bus stand, Banganga and Sanji Chhat.
woollens are required at night even during summer. During
the remaining parts of the year heavy woollens are
kms from Katra, is the nearest airport, railhead and
inter-state bus terminus. Buses leave for Katra at 10
minute intervals between 5:30 a.m and 8:30 p.m. During
peak season, additional buses are pressed into service.
available both at Jammu and Katra for the journey. In
Jammu city, these can be hired from the Jammu airport,
Jammu railway station and the Tourist Reception Centre. A
number of travel agencies conduct tours to Katra regularly
from Delhi and other major cities of India. There are also
daily scheduled services to Katra from a number of cities
and towns of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.
Hans operates two flights daily from Jammu and 5 flights
from Katra to Shrine.
Capacity: 6 persons per flight. (The service
stands discontinued for the time being).
distance from Katra town to Vaishno Devi (Durbar) is 13
kms, which has to be traversed by pony, ,dandi or on foot. Pithus (coolies) are also
Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMV Shrine Board) runs a large
number of cafeterias and viewing points along the trail
between Katra and the shrine where snacks, coffee and cold
drinks are provided to the yatris on a no-profit-no-loss
basis. The Shrine Board also runs bhojanalyas
at Katra, Adhkawari, Sanji Chhat and at the Bhawan /
shrine for providing hygienically prepared food to the
yatris on a no-profit-no-loss basis.
reaching the Bhawan, a group number is allotted to the
pilgrims at the slip (parchi) counter
against the yatra slip issued at Katra. The yatri is
required to stand in queue at Gate Number 2 till the
announcement of the group number is made to
proceed to the sanctum sanctorum. While inside the cave,
one should concentrate on the darshan of the mother
goddess in her three-pindi forms Maha Kali,
Maha Lakshmi or Maha Vaishnavi and Maha
Saraswati. The holy water coming from the feet of the
Mata can be collected on the way back.
to Stay in Katra
accommodation to suite all pockets and preferences is
available in hotels, guest houses and hostels.
The SMV Shrine Board provides accommodation and other
services en-route and near the Bhawan. The J&K
TDC also offers furnished accommodation of various
categories in its properties at Katra.