MATA VAISHNO DEVI YATRA BY TRAIN:
Duration : 02 Nights / 03 Days
Destination Covered : Delhi - Katra - Vaishnodevi Bhawan - Katra - Delhi
DAY 01: DELHI - KATRA ( BY OVERNIGHT TRAIN)
Evening transfer to railway station to board overnight train for Katra. Overnight in the train.
DAY 02: ARRIVE KATRA – VAISHNODEVI BHAWAN - KATRA
KATRA – DELHI ( BY OVERNIGHT TRAIN)
Arrive Katra railway station, you are met and transferred to your hotel. Check in at hotel. Start trekking up to Vaishnodevi Shrine for about 14 km. One can trek up to the Shrine if fitness permits, otherwise Pony or Palanquins are also available at an extra cost. Arrive at Vaishnodevi Bhawan. Wash and change before Mata Darshan. After Mata Vaishnodevi Darshan, proceed for Bhaironji Darshan, which is one and half km steep trek to abode Bhaironji. Yatra said to have been uncompleted without Bhaironji darshan along with Mata Vaishno Devi. Start trekking down.
On arrival at base in Katra, go back to your hotel for dinner & collect your luggage. Check out from the hotel and transferred to Katra railway station to board overnight train back to Delhi.
DAY 03: ARRIVE DELHI
Train arrives Delhi. you are met at the railway station and transferred to your hotel or residence.
MATA VAISHNO DEVI YATRA BY HELICOPTER
Duration : 01 Night / 02 Days
Destination Covered: Delhi - Jammu - Delhi
DAY 01: DELHI - JAMMU (BY FLIGHT) - KATRA ( BY ROAD)
Boarding on to morning fligh to Jammu from New Delhi. Upon arrival in Jammu, drive to Katra. On arrival in Katra, check in at hotel. After fresh n up, transferred to Helipad at Katra to take helicopter up to Sanjichhat. One can hire horses or Palkies to get the abode of Mata Vaishno Devi. After darshan, come back to Sanjhichhat to take helicopter back to Katra. On arrival at Katra helipad, you are transferred to hotel. Overnigh at hotel in Katra
DAY 02: KATRA - JAMMU (BY ROAD) - DELHI (BY FLIGHT)
Check out from hotel in Katra and drive to Jammu airport to catch flight for Delhi.On arrival in Delhi, you are met and transferred to hotel or rsidence.
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ABOUT VAISHNO DEVI SHRINE
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
Like with most old Shrines, it is not possible to ascertain when exactly the pilgrimage to the Holy Shrine started. A geological study of the Holy Cave has indicated its age to be nearly a million years. Vedic literature gives no reference to the worship of any female deity, although the mountain Trikuta does find its mention in Rigveda, the oldest of the four Vedas The practice of worshipping Shakti, largely started in the Puranic period.
The first mention of the Mother Goddess is in the epic Mahabharat. When the armies of Pandavs and Kaurvas were arrayed in the battlefield of Kurukshetra, Arjun, the chief warrior of Pandavs upon advice of Sri Krishna; meditated upon the Mother Goddess and sought Her blessings for victory. This is when Arjun addresses the Mother Goddess as ‘Jambookatak Chityaishu Nityam Sannihitalaye’, which means ‘you who always dwell in the temple on the slope of the mountain in Jamboo’ (probably referring to the present DAY Jammu).
It is also generally believed that the Pandavs were the first to build the temples at Kol Kandoli and Bhawan in reverence and gratitude for the Mother Goddess. On a mountain, just adjacent to the Trikuta Mountain and overlooking the Holy Cave are five stone structures, which are believed to be the rock symbols of the five Pandavs.
Perhaps the oldest reference of the visit of a historical figure to the Holy Cave is that of Guru Gobind Singh who is said to have gone there via Purmandal. The old foot track to the Holy Cave passed through this well - known pilgrimage centre.
Some traditions believe this Shrine to be the holiest of all Shaktipeeths (a place where the Mother Goddess, the Eternal Energy has Her abode) since the skull of Mata Sati fell here. Others believe that her right arm had fallen here. But some scriptures do not agree with it. They do agree that at a place called Gandarbal in Kashmir, the right arm of Sati had fallen. Nevertheless, in the Holy Cave of Shri Mata Vaishno Deviji, one does find stone remains of a human hand, popularly known as Varad Hast (the hand that grants boons and blessings).
How to reach to Jammu
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.
BY AIR : 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.
BY TRAIN : 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. A list of trains, their schedules and booking status could be seen at the Indian Railways website. You can even book tickets online if you are planning to travel in the near future.
BY ROAD : 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.