Pilgrimage places in INDIA
Maa Vaishneo Devi Yatra
One of the most Religious & Hindu Pilgrimage destination in India, is located in the state of Jammu & Kashmir. Maa Vaishno Devi shrine is conveniently located from Delhi.
Shri Maa 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.
The nearest Railway Station and Airport are at Jammu, at a distance of 50 Kms from Base camp Katra. A regular bus services are plying from Railway Station, Air port and General Bus Stand Jammu to Katra. Also number of Taxies, Tourist vans, Deluxe Busses are available at these places. However number of inter state busses are available for Katra from almost all the major cities of North India.
The Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine is linked to the Base Camp Katra with a 13 Kms track. The entire uphill Journey from Katra to Bhawan is on foot, however, one can hire ponies, palkies or pithoo for ease of journey.
Recently Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board has started the air taxi services between Jammu, Katra and Sanjichat at the normal rates.
Route of shri Mata Vaishno Devi
The 13 Kms hilly track between Katra and Bhawan contains number of ancient temples and view-points for rest and enjoy natural beauty. The first stop is at Banganga, 1 Km away from Katra where one can have holy bath in the Banganga and have a Langer/Parshad (free food) run by famous T-series Industries.
The second stop Charanpadhuka is about 2.5 Kms away from Banganga. It is believed that Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji took rest while moving towards the Trikuta Hills. The place contains the foot prints of Goddess, and thus the place is named Charanpadhuka Temple..
The third stop Adkuwari is about 3 Kms from Charanpadhuka. Here one can stay for night as half of the journey is over. At Adkuwari the devotees can have Darshan of Adkuwari Temple and Gerbhjoon (an ancient Cave of about 20 feet). It is believed that Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji hide herself from Bairon Nath in this cave for 9 months.
After a steep height of about 4 Kms from Adkuwari the fourth and last stop is Sanjichat. The Sanjichat is the highest place in the track. One can enjoy the aerial view of Katra, Udhampur, Reasi and Jammu.
From Sanjichat about 2.5 Kms downhill track led to Bhawan the holy Shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi. About 0.5 Kms from Bhawan on the Bahawan-Sanjichat track an about 2 Kms link track lead to the Bairon Nath temple. The track is further linked with Sanjichat though dense forest containing different species of wild life such as Langoor, Monkeys and other wild birds.
How to reach
In order to visit the Holy Shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi Ji, one has to reach Katra, a small town situated around 50 kms. from Jammu, the winter capital of the state of Jammu & Kashmir. Katra serves as the base camp for the yatra. Katra is well connected to Jammu and Jammu, in turn, is well connected to the rest of the country by Air, Rail, and Road.
Jammu is well connected to the rest of India by air. Both Indian Airlines and Jet Airways operate daily flights to Jammu. The average flying time from New Delhi is about 80 minutes.
One can also reach Jammu by rail. Jammu is connected to other parts of country on broad gauge and numerous passenger trains ply from various parts of the country to Jammu. In the peak season of summer and other holidays, the Railways introduce special trains for Jammu for the comfort of the Yatris. Many superfast trains also ply on this route and one can reach Jammu overnight from New Delhi.
Jammu is well connected through road also to rest of India. National Highway No. 1A passes through Jammu towards Srinagar. Regular bus services from all major North Indian cities are available for Jammu as well as Katra. Many standard and deluxe buses of various State Road Transport Corporations as well as private operators connect Jammu with important cities and towns of North India.
Passengers using Air or Rail as a mode of travel have necessarily to break their journey at Jammu and from thereon select an alternative mode of transport. However for passengers traveling by road, either through public or own transport, there is an option of taking a by-pass from Kunjwani, nearly 10 kms. off Jammu and heading straight for the base camp i.e Katra. The option of a halt at Jammu is thus entirely with the yatri although many yatries would like to spend more time in Jammu and visit the temples and other landmarks there.
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