A Complete Guide to Vaishno Devi Yatra with Family

Vaishno Devi Temple travel guide
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Vaishno Devi is one of the sacred pilgrimages and the famous abode of Mata Vaishno Devi at the Trikuta mountain. It is one of the oldest shrines in India, with devotees flocking to see the goddess from all over the world to seek her blessings. The goddess is in 3 forms here: Maha Kali, Saraswathi, and Maha Lakshmi. 

How to Reach Vaishno Devi

How to Reach Vaishno Devi 

Jammu is well-connected to all major cities, and tickets must be booked well in advance. Travelers can visit the shrine by road, train, or flight. The nearest railway station is Katra station, about 20 km from the temple. There are daily and weekly trains that operate from major cities to Jammu, and there are some which extend upto Katra.

Frequent buses ply to Katra from Jammu, Amritsar, New Delhi, and other major cities. Katra is about 50 km from Jammu and serves as the base camp for the temple.

When to visit Vaishno Devi

The shrine remains crowded all year, and the best time to visit is March to July, as the weather is cool and pleasant. 

Weather during August and September gets a little rainy and is not advised. Also, November to February are winter, with harsh weather conditions, and trekking becomes difficult.

How to do Vaishno Devi Yatra

Devotees who wish to visit the shrine must plan to climb for 12 km to seek her blessings. The following are some ways to reach her abode.

1. Trekking

Those who wish to choose trekking as their mode have two routes, which are nearly 13 km. There are two routes from Katra to Ardhkuwari – the halfway point. But the distance from Ardhkuwari to Bhawan, the prominent place of the goddess, is the same. The Bhairavnath shrine is a few more kms away and is a must-visit.

2. Helicopter Ride

Devotees can also opt for a helicopter ride, which is the fastest way to reach the shrine, adding a spark of fun and excitement. Kids and the elderly benefit the most from this arrangement. Booking the helicopter two months in advance is a must. The ride can accommodate 4 to 6 people at a time and reach the shrine’s helipad in under 10 minutes. The helipad is located on Udhampur road, about 2 km from Katra Main bus station. It usually costs 1800 per head with 3600 on both sides.

3. Ponies and palanquins

For some, trekking the entire 12 to 13 km stretch may be arduous, or paying for a helipad may be costly. Most pilgrims, especially older people, opt for ponies and palanquins, with many services available at the base. They charge between 700 for one way and 1200-1600 for two ways per person.

Temples to visit on a trip to Vaishno Devi

The following are the temples that you can visit on the Devi Yatra.

1. Mata Vaishno Devi Temple

One of the most revered and religious Hindu temples is dedicated to Vaishno Devi. It is one of the 108 Shakti Peethas dedicated to the goddess Durga and worshipped as Mata Vaishno Devi.

2. Adh Kumari Temple

The Adh Kuwari is located at the halfway mark to the main shrine of Vaishno Devi. The name Adh Kuwari means the eternal virgin and is regarded as one of the most important temples to visit on the way to the holy cave.

3. Bhairon Nath Temple

The temple is dedicated to Lord Bhairavnath, just 2 km from Mata Vaishno Devi Temple. According to the legends of the place. It is widely believed that the goddess killed Bhairav as he was about to attack her, and she took the form of Kali and beheaded him. However, he is believed to have repented for his sins and begged forgiveness. So the goddess forgave him, and anyone seeking a pilgrimage to Vaishno Devi must visit this temple and seek his blessings, or the pilgrimage would not be complete.

4. Charan Paduka

Charan Paduka is another famous site where the imprints of Mata Vaishno Devi’s feet are said to be engraved. It is located about 1.5 km from Banganga, which visitors pay their obeisance to and proceed further for the yatra.

If you plan to visit Vaishno Devi with your family, the following is a detailed guide with all the necessary information.

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P V Pradeepa

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