MATA VAISHNO DEVI




The Vaishnodevi is associated with several myths and legends. It is said Vaishnavi, a comely maiden was created by the trinity of Lord Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. She was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu and spent her life in meditation and prayers, following the path of celibacy. It is said that Lord Rama promised to marry her in Kaliyug, if she persisted in her spiritual quest. Thus, Mata Vaishnodevi established an ashram in the foothills of the Trikuta Mountain and began to meditate. As time passed by her popularity reached far and wide and a large number of devotee started to come at the ashram for her blessings, on the way goddess created "Banganga" with shot of an arrow to quench her thirst and After stopped at "Charan Paduka". She meditated in the cave at "Adh Kanwari", which is known as "Garbh joon"

Adi Kunwari about 3kms. From Charan Paduka is next major halt for the Pilgrims. It is popular for the Garbh joon, a small 15 foot long womb shaped near the Temple. After Adi Kunwari the climb gets steeper and the area is known as Haathi Matha ,as the approachis almost vertical. This 4.5 kms. Stretch to 'Saanji chhat' to the Mata Vaishno Devi temple complex (Bhavan) is just 2.5 kms. After arriving at the Bhavan, one should check-in their yatra slips and get the status for Darshan the Holy Cave. Inshrines three natural rock images (Pindian)of the goddess (Mata) in here three forms Maha Saraswati, Maha Kali, and Maha Laxhmi, which represent creative, preservative the divine energy. According to legends main sanctum, the darshan of Mata is rendered incomplete without visiting the Bhairon Temple locater 2.6 kms. From the main sanctum



Place to visit in Katra


Aghar Jitto

It lies 5 kms. From Katra and is well known for the temple of Baba Jitto, a devotee of Mata Vaishnodevi and a revolutionary. The water of the holy spring flowing in front of the shrine is belived to be of great help to the pre-natal women for safe delivery of children. A path from here leades to Mata Vaishnodevi Temple.

Dera Baba Banda

The important Hindu – Sikh pilgrim centre lies 30 kms. From Katra. It is associated with Baba Banda Bairagi, one of the favourite 'Saint soilder' of Guru Gobind Singh, the teenth sikh guru. A gurudwara was built in the memory of Baba Banda, on the banks of river Chenab, where he is said to have spent his last days.

Baba Dhansar

The beautiful picnic and pilgrim site is just 10 km. By foot and 10 km. By road from katra. A huge spring of water emerges here on the mountain side, amidst a thick grove of trees. The water from the spring forms a number of small waterfalls and merges into the holy Banganga. Near the spring is a naturally formed 'Shivaling'. An annual fair is held here on the auspicious occasion of Shivratri.

Shiv Khori

The famous Hindu pilgrim centre is 100 kms. From Jammu and about 85 kms from Katra. It is known for a kilometre long holy cave, enshrining a 4 ft high naturally formed 'Shivalinga'. The shrine is considered to be the most important pilgrim sites of the area, after the temple of Mata Vaishnodevi. A large annual fair is held here on Shivratri.

Patnitop

Panoramc Patnitop sprawls on a lush plateau, at an altitude of 2024 meters on the Jammu Srinagar Highway. The charming resort amidst thickly wooded forests is probably the best developed tourist centre of Jammu. It commands awe-inspiring views of the sceinc surroundings and is dotted with a number of beautiful picnic sites. Walking leisurely on bridal paths amidst towering trees is one of the favourites pass time for the visitors. During winters Patnitop receives good snowfalls and provides opportunities for various winter games like skiing

The 600 year old temple of Naga (cobra) at Ishadhari ishighly reverd by the devotees. The three must visit sites on the outskirts of Patnitop are – Chinar Garden Picnic spot and Skating Garden.

Sanasar

Sanasar the scenic site just 17 kms. From Patmitopis a cup shaped grassy meadow, surrounded by conifer forests. It is being developed as fine a golf centre and is also regarded as a good place for para-gliding

Sudh Mahadev

It is located few kilometeres south of Patnitop and is famous for the ancient temple of Lord Shiva. The shrine has a sacred trishul(Trident) of Lord Shiva

Mantalai

It is located near Shudh Mahadev amidst lush deodar forests. According to muthological legends, Lord Shiva got married to the goddess Parvati here. The site is also noted for its apple orchards and lemon and orange groves

Krimchi

A short detour on the way to Sudh Mahadev-Mantalai, leades to Krimchi. It is known for the three ancient shrines, which are considered to be the oldest temples of Jammu. The architecture of the temples reflects Greek influences. A hill resort named Pancheri is located nearby.

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