Mata Vaishno Devi temple is one of the well-known Hindu pilgrimage destinations in India. It is situated deep in the beautiful and holy Trikuta Hills among the Shivalik range of hills. It is situated at an altitude of 5300 feet from the sea level.
The Trikuta Mountains are in the lower Himalayas. You can find the idols of Mahakali, Mahasaraswati and Mahalakshmi. Thousands of pilgrims from all over India used to visit this temple. A visit to this temple clears your dilemmas. You need to come here with a faith.
Several legends exist about the Vaishno Devi temple. Ratnakar Sagar gave birth to a beautiful girl called Vaishno Devi. She prayed to Lord Rama with an intention to become his wife. Though Rama was pleased with her devotion he could not marry her being faithful to his wife.
He promised to marry her in another era if she recognizes him. He returned to her in another form (old monk) after Lanka visit, but she could not recognize him. Vishnavi found sad after failing to recognize him. He consoled her that he will marry later in the form of Kalki. He asked Vishnavi to establish an ashram in the Trikuta hills and meditate.
According another story, Bhairon Nath, a tantrik, started observing her secretly astonished by her beauty. She escaped from him and took the shelter in the Trikuta hills. She finally killed him when he chased her. His separated head fell at a distant place on a hill.
The Goddess granted a boon to him saying that every pilgrim would complete his pilgrimage only when they visit his shrine also. It is believed that she took the form of a five and a half feet rock shedding her human form to continue with her meditation.
It is situated at a distance of 4.5 km from Charan Paduka. You can find a Garbha Joon, a 15ft long cave, at an altitude of 4800 ft from the sea level. It is believed that Goddess hid here for 9 months and appeared to the saint. She escaped from the cave making a new entrance after Bhairon entered in.
Ban Ganga Temple
The Goddess reached the Trikuta Hills after leaving the Bhumika temple. She made a river called Ban Ganga with her arrow when Veer Langur felt thirsty. It is believed that Goddess washed her hair in this river. Ban Ganga is situated at a distance of 3 kilometers from Katra.
Charan Paduka Temple
It is believed that Goddess took rest here when Bhairon was searching her. The holy footprints (Charan Paduka) are located at a distance of 1.5 kilometers from Ban Ganga.
How to Reach
It takes about 2 hours by road from Katra and Jammu. You can also hire a taxi from the Jammu Tawi Railway station. The nearest railway station is situated at Jammu. The nearest airport is situated at Jammu.