All visitors to Mata Vaishno Devi allegedly have their wishes fulfilled. So here I was in Katra, ready to test it out for myself. I visited Vaishno Devi, one of India’s holiest shrines, last month. Hindus highly regard the sanctuary, which is located atop the Trikuta Mountains in India’s Jammu and Kashmir. By walking, riding a pony, or taking a helicopter from Katra Town,
which is located at the foot of the mountain and is about 12 km distant, you can get to the temple. I made a reservation at one of Helicopter Katra To Sanjichat 2023 before starting my journey so that I could unwind after the ascent.
1. From Jammu onward
I took a car early in the morning from Jammu for a trip to Katra with my backpack in tow. After a quick break at a nearby cafeteria, I had enough fuel to continue the drive. The chilly breeze kept me company while the automobile travelled along the slick, curving roads.
2. At Katra,
I arrived at my Katra hotel, where I would stay for the next 24 or so, after a two-hour ride. First things first,
I went straight to the Yatri Registration booth (YRC) next to the Katra Bus Stand and registered for the Vaishno Devi Yatra.
I was aware that everyone wishing to visit the shrine must do this. After a delicious lunch and a quick sightseeing trip to the adjacent Baba Dhansar,
Bhoomika Mandir, Deva Mai, and Nau Devi temples, I returned to the hotel.
The local driver of my car came prepared with all kinds of anecdotes about these locations,
and I must admit that his vivacity had me spellbound the entire time. None to report! After a quick meal at the motel, I prepared for the nighttime hike up the Trikuta Hills. This is a particularly good time for me to go hiking because
I wanted to avoid the heat of the day.
3. During the journey to Vaishno Devi Shrine
The 12-kilometer hike up to the temple, which is home to the “Three Divine Pindis of Goddesses,” begins the pilgrimage to the Vaishno Devi shrine from the base camp in Katra. While others opted for pony rides and “pitthus,” or human carriers, I chose to walk up to the temple. Helicopter rides are also offered during the day. The entire route leading to the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine has been designed to make pilgrimage as easy as possible. Restrooms, overlooks, overhanging sheds, elementary medical facilities, cloakrooms, and gift stores are scattered along the tidy, clean road. There were no chaotic crowds, and everything was well organised. I had restorative stops along the way at Charan Paduka, Adhkuwari, Himkoti, and Sanjichhat, and I soon arrived at The Holy Bhawan, which houses the Sanctum Sanctorum.
4. Darshan of Mata Vaishno Devi
My final stop was the holy Bhawan, which houses the cave where Mata Vaishno Devi is revered. Mata appears as three holy Pindis, Maha Kali, Maha Lakshmi, and Maha Saraswati, inside the Holy Cave. I headed back down to my accommodation in Katra with a heart full of satisfaction after collecting the blessed Prasad and touring the other Darshan in the complex.