Spirituality has never been adopting more beliefs and assumptions, but it has always been uncovering the best in you. Devotion has never been pure. Moreover, if the sages of yore spent years alienated within the hills, modern-day devotees do not have a cakewalk either. Not solely do they need to climb up a tremendous mountain, and wait in endless queues to offer their respects at the Vaishno Devi shrine, however conjointly to barter the journey entirely outlines the chaotic and jam-packed city of Katra – the existence of that.
Finally, the travails and madness, once you are on your way up the mountain, the crowds thin, and you’re aware of an instant that’s as spectacular because it is holy. The whole ordeal looks well definitely worth all the effort.
The temple of holy Goddess Vaishno Devi is one of the most important and sacred Hindu temples dedicated to Anapurna, Parvati or Goddess Shakti, the Divine Consort of Lord Shiva. This lovely temple lies ensconced among the picturesque hills of Vaishno Devi, within the state of Jammu and Kashmir in the Republic of India. Hindus respect Vaishno Devi, conjointly brought up as Mata Rani and Vaishnavi is the very manifestation of the Mother Goddess Shakti.
Perched 1615m higher than the water level in a cave on Trikuta Hill lies the Vaishno Devi Shrine – a temple holding immense significance for Hindus. Several pilgrims make the 14km walk to the shrine every year from Katra that for all practical functions is a base camp for the trek.
It has been recorded that near to eight million yatris (pilgrims) visit the temple every year, from each corner of the world. It is said to be the second most visited non-secular shrine in the Republic of India, after the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple.
The temple premises of this sacred area are maintained and taken care by the Sri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board. Pilgrims can visit the temple by rail via Udhampur to Katra. The Jammu aerodrome is the best way to reach the shrine for those traveling by flight.
Followers of Mata Vaishno Devi believe that nobody can visit her temple unless and until she issues a “bulawa” to them, that is until she calls them to go visit her shrine.
No matter what their caste, creed and social rank are, it is the same, the journey to the holy shrine of Vaishno Devi can materialize if and given she wills it and blesses the devotee with her darshan. Several devotees have said to experience this first hand. The converse is additionally the same to be true. If there is a call from the spiritual being, even those that had not planned for the trip are sure to visit the Mother at her shrine.
Those greedy of visiting her shrine, therefore, create a dedicated want in their hearts and request her for showering her grace and giving darshan to them. Then, they surrender to her will and leave it to her to choose once it’d be the correct time for them to travel visit her Holy Abode.
There is no actual record as to when the shrine of Vaishno Devi came into existence. Some geologic studies appear to the point that it is going to be nearly one million years old. Although the Vedas create no mention of Mata Vaishno Devi, the earliest reference to a mountain spiritual being named Trikuta has been created within the Rigveda. It is surprising to know that the worship of Shakti and alternative feminine deities started solely throughout the Puranic era.
Many schools of thought take into account the Vaishno Devi shrine to be the holiest and most powerful of all the fifty-one Shaktipeethas. This is often; because they believe that the bone of Mata Sati fell in this space. Nonetheless, followers believe that her right hand that holds the Abhaya Hasta (the gesture of succor) had dropped there.
Incidentally, one will notice the remains of an individual’s hand here. It is conjointly referred to as the Varada Hasta, granting protection, love, and boons to true believers and devotees. The shrine of Vaishno Devi is believed to bestow and give strength and power to the weak, vision to the blind, wealth to the poor and bless unfruitful couples with kids. This powerful spiritual being, it is said, is additionally benevolent enough to meet one and every one of her devotees’ desires. This is often why followers make it a point to go to her often, considering the shrine being somewhat unapproachable when considering the location.
Lord Rama once predicted, her shrine will be packed with crowds of devotees all the year through, and it stands true. The season of Navaratri is considered the most auspicious time to visit her holy abode. When it comes to the best time, the time during the Navaratri is regarded as the best season, temperature-wise. Visiting Vaishno Devi during the Navaratras, it also believed to take the devotees and believers one-step closer to attaining heaven and nirvana.
Quick Facts & Tips
When to go: this holy place can be visited throughout the year, but the months of March to July are the best time to visit. During winters, around October, the temperature drops below zero, and there is some snowfall, which might not be a favorable time to visit. Moreover, from August to September, there are heavy rains, which often cause mudslides.
Advance bookings: it is advisable to book a place beforehand to stay before reaching Katra – either online or through a travel agent. Embark on this spiritual encounter tour in India, the Vaishno Devi Yatra and let Sumeru Holidays, which falls under The Art of Living umbrella help you plan your journey, making you able to just concentrate on god and your devotions!
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Options for the climb: There are options available for the people who do not want to trek up until the shrine, palanquins, and ponies can be hired at Katra Chowk. Now, it is also possible to hitch a ride on a chopper from Katra up to Sanjhi Chhat, for this you need to book in advance.
Have a beautiful time in the city of temples.
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