The Hindu mythology is full of astonishing and divine myths which describe the mighty and glorified origin of the Hinduism. These myths are fortified by the presence of mighty ancient temples and pilgrims all over the India. One such temple is the Vaishno Devi temple which is one of the most visited pilgrims in India.
The Vaishno Devi Temple lies in the magnificent Trikuta Hills in the Shivalik Range of lower Himalayas. It is located in the small town Katra of Jammu and Kashmir. This cave temple is famous for its originality, scenic beauty and its natural rock carvings. It is situated at a distance of 61 km from Jammu city from which last 13 km of the journey needs to be negotiated by walking up the hill. Other arrangements like horses, ponies and helicopter are also provided by the Vaishno Devi shrine board to comfort the journey for the pilgrims.
The icon of Maa Vaishno Devi lies inside a 98 ft. long tunnel in the form of three naturally emerged rocks or pindies. The tunnel that leads to the cave incredibly represents the symbols of different gods and goddesses proving the presence of almighty. In the beginning of the tunnel, there is a striking symbol of Shri Ganesha followed by the symbols of the Surya and the Chandra dev. After moving a little further the part of the tunnel named as the Dadh of the Bhairav Nath starts. It is called so because it is believed that this is the place where Bahirav Nath’s body fell when Maa Vaishno Devi beheaded him. Further, the scenic symbols of Hunaman ji are eye catching. The part of the tunnel from here is splashed by the clean water of Cahran Ganga stream which rushes out from the base of the pindis. At the end of the tunnel the crafted symbols of various other gods can be noticed which include the symbol of Gauri-Shankar, Sheeshnaag and the Brahma Ji etc. each having a story of their own associated with the holy place.
The cave is closed for two hours daily during the aarti. The aarti (rituals in praise of goddess) is performed twice daily during the dusk and the dawn. The cave remains closed for Darshan during the aarti. Apart from the cave temple there are some other associated temples which are an unseperable part of Vaishno Devi darshan. The temple of Charan Paduka (pure feet) is at a small distance from the cave. This place is believed as the place where maa Vaishno devi stopped for some time while Bhairav Nath was chasing her. The Ardh Kuwari temple denotes the midpoint of the Vaishno Devi Yatra and it is believed that Maa Vaishno Devi worshipped lord Shiva here for nine months and when Bhairav Nath found her here she proceeded for the Bhavan.
The journey to the Vaishno Devi temple is very soothing for eyes as one can admire the beauty of lush green hills throughout the journey.