Vaishno Devi Temple – Spiritual Journey in Katra, Tarakote Marg Trek

Vaishno Devi Temple – Spiritual Journey in Katra, Tarakote Marg Trek

So, The Vaishno Devi Goddess Temple is one of the largest Hindu temples dedicate to Parvati or Goddess Shakti, vaishno devi temple, vaishno devi katra the divine consort of Lord Shiva. Vaishno devi trek tarakote marg This beautiful temple is locate amidst the beautiful hills of Vaishno Devi in ​​the state of Jammu and Kashmir in India. Hindus revere Vaishno Devi, commonly know as Mata Rani and Vaishnavi, who is a manifestation of the goddess Shakti.

Explore the Tarakote Marg to Ardhkuwari distance when planning your Vaishno Devi pilgrimage. For convenience, check out the Vaishno Devi Palki charges 2024. Compare the Tarakote Marg vs Old Marg distance and choose the best route for you. The Tarakote Marg to Bhawan distance is a crucial detail for trekkers. For those starting from Katra, understanding the Katra to Tarakote Marg distance is essential.

Compare the Vaishno Devi new route vs old route for a better travel plan. Learn about the Tarakote Marg Vaishno Devi and how much time it takes to climb Vaishno Devi. The Tarakote Marg Vaishno Devi map can be a great guide for pilgrims. For a comprehensive understanding, check the Vaishno Devi trek distance and Sanjichhat to Bhawan distance. Learn about the palki in Vaishno Devi for those who prefer not to walk.

Exact Location of the Vaishno Devi Mandir

Vaishno Devi Manir is located near Katra village in Reasi district. It is one of the most revered places of worship in India. The sanctuary is located at an altitude of 5,300 feet above sea level and about 12 km from Katra.

It has been recorded that almost a million yatris (pilgrims) tarakote marg visit the temple every year, coming from all over the world. It is believed to be the second most visited religious temple in India, after the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple.

The temple grounds are maintained by the Sri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board. Pilgrims can reach the temple from Udhampur to Katra by train. Jammu airport is the best way to reach the holy place for those traveling by air.

tarakote marg

Birth and Childhood of Mata Vaishno Devi

According to legend, Mata Vaishno Devi was born in southern India, in Ratnakar Sagar. Her parents had been childless for years, tarakote marg and she longed to have one. On the eve of the birth of the Son of God, Ratnakar promised that he would not prevent anything that his son would choose to do in the future. Mata Vaishno Devi was born the next day, and her name was Trikuta. He was later called Vaishnavi because he was descended from Lord Vishnu.

At the age of 9, Trikuta asked his father for permission to do penance from the sea. Trikuta sat there praying to Lord Rama, the avatar of Lord Vishnu. At that time, Lord Rama was walking along the sea in search of Goddess Sita, who had been kidnapped by the demon king Ravana. Rama was with him and his entire Vanara Sena.

Mata Vaishno Devi

When he saw the beautiful girl in the light of God, immersed in prayer and meditation, he came to her and blessed her. Trikuta tells Rama that she has accepted him as her husband. Rama, after Eka Patni Vrata (taking an oath to have only one wife), vaishno devi trek decided to marry and be faithful only to Sita. However, due to the girl’s devotion to him, the Lord gave her the name Vaishnavi and promised her that in Kaliyuga, she would take the avatar of Kalki and marry her. Meanwhile, Rama also asked Trikuta to meditate in a cave in the Trikuta Range of Mount Manik, in northern India. He gave him a bow and arrow, a small group of monkeys and a lion for his protection. The Divine Mother then decided to observe Navratra, to pray for the victory of Lord Rama against Ravana.

Even today, devotees recite the Ramayana during the 9 days of the Navratri festival. Rama also promised her that the whole world would sing her praises and worship her as Mata Vaishno Devi. It was through Rama’s blessings that Mata Vaishno Devi attained immortality and now attracts hundreds of thousands of pilgrims to the temple every year.

Legends of Mata Vaishno Devi

According to legend, when the mother goddess fought a fierce battle against and destroyed the Asuras or demons who were causing chaos in the world, her three manifestations were Maha Kali, Maha Lakshmi and Maha Saraswati, united in one force. Combining their collective spiritual power. This union created a bright tejas or aura and a beautiful girl emerged from the tejas. The girl asked the Mother Goddess for instructions to continue her mission.

Devis told him that his duty was to appear in the world and spend his time there, upholding Dharma or righteousness. They asked the divine maiden to give birth to a human being in Ratnakar’s house, and lead a life of piety and penance, so that he could raise his own spirit to the level of God. They also told him that once he reached that level of consciousness, he would immediately unite himself and become one with Lord Vishnu. As a result, the girl was born as a beautiful little girl.

He had a great thirst for knowledge and showed a strong interest in spirituality and a desire for self-knowledge. Alwould go into deep meditation and stay in that state for hours together. He decided to leave all the comforts of the world and go into the forest to do great trouble and penance. It was then that he met Lord Rama and received his blessings.

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He wants unit with Rama, according to his message. However, Rama, knowing that now was not the time, promised to visit him again, when his exile was over. He told her that if she knew who he was then, he would do what she wanted. Rama kept his word and visited him when he won the battle against Ravana. He came to him in the form of an unrecognizable old man of Vaishnavi. He was completely devastated when Rama revealed his true identity. Rama laughs and tells her that it is not time for them to be together. He assured him that they would be united in the time of Kaliyuga, asking him to establish his ashram in the Trikuta mountain and serve to uplift the poor and needy.

Establishment of the Vaishno Devi

After everyone had eaten and left the Bhandara site, Shridhar tried to find an explanation for the mystery of the day. He also wanted to reveal the mysteries of Vaishnavi. so, he prayed and asked the Goddess to show herself to him, but she did not answer. He tried many times to call her name, but she never came to give him darshan. Unsettled and feeling helpless, he gave up trying to find her.

One night Vaishnavi comes to him in his dream and tells him that she is Vaishno Devi and shows him where her cave is. A happy Shridhar went to search the cave. Whenever he strays, the dream vision returns to him, showing exactly where he is. He finally found his destination; he was pleased to see his favorite god in front of him. One version of the story has that three Mahadevi’s appeared before him and gave him the three Pindies. God gave him permission to worship his idols and asked him to spread the glory of his temple. Also, he blessed her with four sons. Pandit Shridhar then completely surrendered himself to his will and decided to spend his entire life in worshiping the Goddess. Word of this event spread, and soon devotees started flocking to this holy cave to pay their respects to the great goddess Vaishno Devi.

History of the Vaishno Devi Temple

There is no exact record as to when the shrine of Vaishno Devi Temple came into existence. Certain geological studies seem to indicate that it may be nearly a million years old. Though the Vedas make no mention of Mata Vaishno Devi, the earliest reference to a mountain deity named Trikuta has been made in the Rigveda. It is worth noting here that the worship of Shakti and other female deities started only during the Puranic era.

Places in the Route of Katra to Vaishno Devi (14 km)

  1. Darshani Darwaaza (Starting Point)
  2. Holy Track 1: Old Track
  3. Holy Track 2: New or Alternate Track
  4. Ban Ganga
  5. Charan Paduka
  6. Adhkuwari
  7. Himkoti
  8. Sanjichhat
  9. Bhairon Ghati
  10. Reaching Bhawan

Katra to Vaishno Devi

Darshani Darwaaza (Starting Point)

The point known as Darshani Deodhi or Darshani Darwaza, around 1 km away from the bus stand, serves as the entrance to the track. According to legend, it was at this spot where Mata Vaishno Devi appeared as a young girl and met Pandit Shridhar.

This location is also called Darshani Darwaza as it offers a complete view of the Trikuta mountain. The term “Darshan” means view, and therefore, symbolically, this marks the first view of the Yatra. The elevation of this spot is 2800 feet above sea level.

Holy Track: Old Track (Main)

The track leading up to the Shrine was in poor condition prior to August 30th, 1986, when the management was taken over by the Board. It was filled with potholes, and loosely laid stones, and had an uneven surface. However, after the Board took over, the entire track was reconstructed.

It was widened, paved with tiles, and made much smoother. In addition, the steep inclines were made gentler in several places. For safety, many parapets were built, and railings were installed along the track. Furthermore, over 5 kilometers of the track have been covered with rain shelters to protect the pilgrims from unpredictable weather conditions.

Previously, there was a lack of illumination along the track leading to the Shrine. However, with the installation of more than 1200 High-Pressure Sodium Vapor Lamps, the entire path now glitters with light.

Additionally, to ensure that visiting devotees have access to potable water, 120 water points and about 20 water coolers have been installed along the route from Banganga to Bhawan. Before the management takeover, there were inadequate sanitary arrangements along the track.

Holy Track: New Track – Tarakote Marg

To address the growing number of pilgrims and the inconvenience caused by the movement of ponies, a new track was constructed in the early 1990s. The sharp gradient at Hathimatha and the congested width of the old track tarakote marg necessitated this construction.

The new track, known as the alternate track, has a much more gradual gradient and was opened to the public in 1999. Unlike the old track, no ponies are permitted on the new track. This shorter and gentler track has received widespread appreciation from pilgrims.

The alternate track, which is 500 meters shorter than the old track, tarakote marg begins just below Adhkuwari near the Inderprastha viewpoint and ends just short of the Bhawan Complex.

tarakote marg

 

The track is wider than the old one and easier to navigate due to tarakote marg its uniform climb and lower gradient. Along the way, there are two viewpoints, three refreshment units, drinking water points, and water coolers for the tarakote marg convenience of the pilgrims.

Additionally, tarakote marg has several outlets serving tea, coffee, and soft drinks have establish, as well as a Dosa point at Himkoti Viewpoint. Toilet blocks have also been constructed to provide clean public utilities, tarakote marg and adequate shelter sheds are available.

To reduce pollution, a zero-emission battery vehicle runs along this track.

The Shrine provides a battery vehicle facility for infirm, sick, and handicapped devotees tarakote marg tarakote marg at Inderprasth (Adhkuwari) and Manokmana Bhawan. However, tarakote marg booking of the facility is subject to availability.

Ban Ganga

Beyond the Police Check Post and Yatra Parchi Check Post, vaishno devi temple pilgrims arrive at a small bridge that spans Banganga, a legendary river associated with the miracles and legends of Mata.

The river flows throughout the year, except during periods of acute rainfall or snowfall shortages in the monsoon and winter seasons, respectively.

It is consider sacre, and in keeping with Hindu tradition, many devotees like to take a bath in it before continuing on their journey. However, in modern times, many pilgrims choose to skip this traditional bath.

Nonetheless, those who have the time or are incline to follow the legends and traditions may choose to take a dip in the river. There are a couple of Ghats construct for this purpose, with the first one being typically very crowd and the other being comparatively more spacious.

The river flowing under the small bridge, which is consider sacre by the pilgrims, is know as Banganga. The name is derive from two words, “Ban” which means arrow, and “Ganga” which refers to the sacred river Ganges.

vaishno devi katra

Charan Paduka

Charan Paduka is located at an altitude of 3380 feet, approximately 1.5 kilometers from Banganga. It is believed that the holy footprints of Mata are imprinted on a rock slab at this site.

Darshans at Charan Paduka are quick, taking only a few minutes on a normal day. Pilgrims pay their respects to the footprints of Mata engraved on the rock slab and continue their journey, symbolically touching Mata’s feet and seeking her blessings at the start of their pilgrimage.

Adhkuwari

Adkuwari is located at an altitude of 4800 feet and about 500 meters from Inderprastha. The fluttering flag and temple spires can be see and announcements can hear from the announcement booth much before reaching there.

Adkuwari is situate halfway on the track, approximately 6 km from Katra, and is an important Darshan on the visit, second only to the main Darshans at the Holy Cave.

The term Adkuwari is believe to have originate from vaishno devi temple Adi kumari, meaning “The Eternal Virgin”. According to legend, Vaishnavi, in the form of a small girl, disappeared from the Bhandaara organized by Pandit Shridhar and halted at Banganga and Charan Paduka.

She then reached Adkuwari, where she meditated and observe spiritual discipline (Tapasya) in a small womb-shaped cave for nine months. The exact spot where she meditate is locate on the right-hand side of the cave and is also shape like a womb.

Himkoti

Located about 2.75 kilometers from Adkuwari on the new track, Himkoti is a scenic spot offering breathtaking views of the entire valley. While there is no traditional or religious significance attached to this point, its natural vaishno devi trek splendor and serene charm captivate pilgrims and visitors alike.

The Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board has developed a viewpoint, restaurant, and dosa counter at this location. Visitors can find packed and cooked food, hot and cold beverages, and essential items such as medicare and oxygen cylinders, and cassettes.

Sanjichhat

Sanji Chhat, located two and a half kilometers away from the Holy Shrine of Vaishno devi temple Ji, is a charming little plateau. This place serves as a welcome break for pilgrims, as the upward climb ends at this point, and it also offers a picturesque view. Prior to the Shrine Board’s takeover in 1986, the conditions at Sanji Chhat were vastly different.

The area was clutter with small, unsanitary kiosks and shopkeepers would discard their waste on the hillside, creating an unpleasant sight and odor. There were no proper arrangements for drinking water, except for Chhabils.

The Dharmarth Trust had constructed a Dharamshalla, but the accommodation was extremely inadequate, with almost non-existent toilet facilities.

Sanjhichhat underwent a significant transformation after the Shrine Board took over its management. The first step was a massive sanitation drive to clean up the hillside. The small, unsanitary kiosks were remove and relocate, while the main platform was reconstruct with white marble and Kota Stone, adorned with a fountain and floodlights.

vaishno devi katra

Bhairon Ghati

Prior to the takeover of the holy Shrine by the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board in the year 1986, the Bhairon Temple was ignore and the track leading to the temple was in a dilapidated condition, making the climb a grueling task.

However, after the takeover, significant emphasis was place on developments in this area, particularly the widening and beautification of the track, remodeling of steps, and the construction of rain shelters and toilets.

Additionally, the entire track has illuminate with High-Pressure Sodium Vapour Lamps and the water supply has augment. For the convenience of the pilgrims, toilet blocks have also construct and a refreshment unit named OM has start to provide adequate and reasonably price beverages and packed food items such as biscuits and snacks.

Vaishno Devi Darshan at Bhawan

The ultimate destination of the pilgrims, the Holy Bhawan houses the Sanctum Sanctorum – the Holy cave, where the Goddess has revealed herself in the form of Holy Pindies, manifesting Mata in her three forms Maha Kali, Maha Lakshmi, and Mata Saraswati.

Around 1.5 kilometers before reaching the Holy Bhawan, a pilgrim catches the first glimpse of it, which brings an upsurge of energy, and all the tiredness from the strenuous climb evaporates instantly, as if by some magic wand.

The relief of the last 1.5 kilometers being either level or gently sloping downwards eases the tired muscles. Filled with extra fervor and devotion, the yatra covers the last 1.5 kilometers on wings and reaches Bhawan in no time.

Legend has it that Vaishnavi, after leaving the Garbh Joon cave at Adhkawari where Bhairon Nath had located her, began climbing uphill until she reached the Holy Cave. Bhairon Nath, who was following her, found her again inside the cave and started to challenge her.

Must Know Before You Travel to Vaishno Devi

  • Katra to Bhawan is 13km. It takes 5-8 hours to climb and 3-6 hours to ascend.
  • Katra is the base camp for Vaishno Devi Yatra. Bus, taxi and train is available to Katra. Flight is available to Jammu 2 routes from Katra to Ardhkuwari (mid-point of the trek). The old route is 5.5km. This has Charan Paduka temple enroute. The new route is 7.5km. This is better to come down as it is steeper.
  • Ardhkuwari to Vaishno Devi Bhawan has 2 routes. One is 6.5km steep uphill. The other one is shorter 5.5 km and less steep.
  • Katra to Bhawan: Mule: INR 1250 one side/per person, Palki: INR 3150 one side/pp, Pitthoo: INR 540 one side/pp
  • Ropeway: INR 100 two way/pp from Bhawan to Bhairon Nath Temple
  • Helicopter: INR 1730 from Katra to Sanjichhat (1.5km from Bhawan). Ponies vaishno devi trek are also available from Helipad to Bhavan
  • Massage chairs available on the entire route. Cost around INR 50 for 15 minutes.
  • Toilets available on every 300-400 mts
  • Shrine board Yatri Niwas near Katra bus stop ideal for a short stay of few hours.
  • Shrine board shop near Bhawan is best to buy prasad.
  • Mobile, wallets, cameras and belts are not allow inside the Ardhkuwari temple and main Bhawan.
  • Free and paid basic accommodation is available at Katra, Ardhkuwari, Sanjichhat and Bhawan. The reservation made at the Enquiry and Reservation Counter at Niharika Complex located near the Katra Bus Stand.

Trek from Katra to Vaishno Devi

The Vaishno Devi Bhawan is open for devotees 365 days and the governing body of the Bhawan has made it probable to do the trek 24 by 7. The complete trekking pathway is lit up for devotees. The dazzling ignited path is visible from the vaishno devi trek Katra bus stand. Along the trekking path, there are many stalls offering food, refreshments, tea, drinking water, medical aid, comfortable sitting benches, toilets etc. There are also police check posts at regular intervals.
At the beginning of the trek, at Banganga check post, luggage scan and security check is conduct. The trek can complete by horses, these horses can cover half of the trek.

How to reach Vaishno Devi Bhawan from Katra?

There are two ways to travel from Katra to Maa Vaishno Devi Bhawan – by road and by air. Devotees can also hire ponies, palki, electric vehicles, and helicopters. Let’s see each in detail –

By Road (Holy track) –

By Pony/ Palki- From Katra, pilgrims can hire a pony/ horse and palki/ palanquin from Darshani Darwaja – the starting point of the holy sojourn till Ardhkuwari or Bhawan. They can take a night halt at Ardhkuwari if required. Ardhkuwari is halfway through the holy Yatra, just 6 km from the base.

By Trekking –

Devotees who wish to walk till Bhawan can choose from three paths –

An old track that starts from Darshani Darwaja and covers Ban Ganga, Charan Paduka, Ardhkuwari, Himkoti, and Sanjichhat.
The second route also starts from Darshani Darwaza and covers Ban Ganga and Charan Paduka; starting. Just below Ardhkuwari near Indraprastha viewpoint. It is short by 500 vaishno devi trek than the old route, where ponies are not allow.  This track is much wider and gentler than other tracks.
The third track is the newest, which starts from Tarakote, and doesn’t allow ponies and palkis. With a comfortable gradient and sideway amenities, this route has a ramp-type design and offers scenic views. Tarakote Marg is also link with the Banganga-Ardhkuwari track, which takes off near Gulshan Langar. This is a 1.5 km link route that provides the choice to Yatris to choose between the Banganga-Ardhkuwari route or the purely pedestrian Tarakote Marg.

By Helicopter –

Devotees can embark on Vaishno Devi Yatra by helicopter, vaishno devi trek starting from Katra. The flight will drop you at Sanjichhat, just 2.5 km from the holy cave. The facility of online helicopter booking is available on the vaishno devi trek Shrine Board’s official website. Advance booking can done 60 days before the journey. Passengers must carry valid ID proof, address proof, and debit/credit card with which payment has made. In the absence of any of the documents, boarding can be denied.

Pilgrims can also book the ticket offline. Katra to Sanjichhat helicopter tickets can also book from the Current-heli ticket counter, where the passengers’ valid ID proof and travel documents should be present. Offline ticket booking is subject to the availability of seats.

One-way or two-way helicopter tickets can book from the website. Vaishno Devi vaishno devi temple Yatra helicopter booking is also available for Katra-Sanjichhat-Katra. To and from helicopter ticket is also consider a vaishno devi trek VIP Pass for Darshan. However, a one-way ticket from Katra-Sanjichhat or Sanjichhat-Katra is not consider a VIP Pass.

How to reach Vaishno Devi Temple, Vaishno Devi
  • Air: Jammu has a civil airport, which hosts many domestic planes. From there one can take taxi to reach Katra. The distance is 48.3 kilometers.
  • Rail: Sree Shakti train that starts from Delhi on Friday evenings and returns to Delhi on Sunday morning is the best way to reach Vaishno Devi.
  • Road: Katra is the nearest place to start the journey to Vaishno Devi. Taxis and buses regularly run on this road.
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