Vaishno Devi – Feel close to the almighty!!!Hindu Temples | September 15, 2010
In religion and spirituality, a Pilgrimage is a journey to a sacred place or shrine. It is the quest and expression of one’s belief and faith. One such world famous shrine attracting the devotees and tourists from world over is Maa Vaishno Devi Shrine, situated in the foothills of Trikoot Mountain in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Accessible by road, railway and air, the shrine attracts about 7-8 millions devotees every year and it’s not surprising that this number is increasing day by day. The steep pathways do not deter the Goddess disciples to reach out to her. The journey to her abode is not only taken by Hindus but by people of all caste, creeds, religion, nationality, faith or belief. This world famous pilgrimage is managed by Shree Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board.
The pilgrimage starts at Katra and the pilgrims have to travel 13 Km of terrain on foot. Those having problems can also avail the services of the pony. For children and luggage Pithus (people who carry weight and luggage) are easily available. If you want to go by air that option is also available. You can board on a helicopter from Katra to Sanjhi Chhat and from there on you can resume your journey or foot or the other modes of transportation. Now a days auto rickshaw facility has also been made available for the devotees. You can either cover the 13 km distance through road or you can also take the stair case route.
The moment you start your journey you will automatically get the feel that you have come to a very sacred place. The religious chants can be heard during the whole journey which makes people forget their fatigue and pain incurred during the 13 Km route. Your desire will get a fire when you will find everyone though different but bounded by same thread of belief, faith and hope. It is truly unmatchable with any other pilgrimage in the whole globe.
The first significant stop over is the BanGanga. A mythological story is associated with its origin. It is said that Mata Vaishno Devi to quench the thirst of her disciple “Hanuman” shot an arrow and the holy river Ganges came gushing out. The next place in the journey to pay obeisance is the Charan Paduka. The foot prints of Mata can be found here. Adhkuwari is mid way and most of the devotees prefer to give a rest to their senses. If you want to enjoy some scenic beauty, Himkoti is the place for you. You would find your self in the lap of the Mother Nature. Once you reach the shrine you will feel that now no tension bothers you. You will so light and refreshed after the Darshan. But this is not the end. It is said that your journey is not complete till the time you do not offer prayers to bhairon ghati. It’s the history of the shrine that whosoever has asked for something from the Goddess with a pure heart, he has never gone back empty handed. Such is the power of this place!!!!!