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Best Places to Visit near Vaishno Devi

here are the best places to visit near Vaishno Devi temple

By TravelMyPassionPublished 3 months ago 5 min read
Vaishno Devi Temple

Mata Vaishno Devi Temple, situated at an altitude of 5,200 feet in Katra district of Jammu, is one of the most sacred pilgrimage sites for Hindus. Within the temple is a cave temple dedicated to Goddess Shakti, where her presence is symbolized by three natural rock formations known as Pindis, representing Goddesses Kali, Lakshmi and Saraswati. These structures rest 91 feet inside the rock shelter.

Located on the Trikuta mountain, about 12 km from the base of the mountain, this temple is believed to be about a million years old. The sacred cave of Vaishno Devi extends up to 98 feet and has symbols of various gods and goddesses as per Hindu mythology.

At the entrance of the cave, a rock symbol of Vakratunda Ganesha is present, as well as symbols of Surabaya December and Chandler Day in the temple. According to legend, the evil Bhairavnath met his end at the hands of the goddess at the entrance of the sacred cave. As part of the Vaishno Devi tour packages, several notable temples are included:

1. Bhairavnath Temple:

Located 3 km away from Vaishno Devi Temple, Bhairavnath Temple is dedicated to a saint who was transformed into an evil entity known as Baba Bhairavnath. It is believed that the goddess herself had declared that no Vaishno Devi pilgrimage is complete without a visit to the Bhairavnath temple. This temple offers a picturesque view of dense forests and rugged mountains. Horse riding is available both uphill and downhill, making it suitable for those who find walking or climbing steep stairs challenging.

2. Charan Paduka Temple:

Charan Paduka Temple, about 1.5 km from Banganga, is considered one of the most prominent religious places. According to mythology, when Goddess Durga was chased by Bhairavnath she stopped at Banganga. Situated at an altitude of 3,380 feet, the Divine Footprint site serves as a central attraction in this destination.

3. Ardhkuwari:

Located 4.5 km from Charan Paduka, Ardhkuwari is a sacred site with deep religious significance. Famous for its narrow cave called "Garbha Joon", which is 15 feet in length, this pilgrimage site is located at the midpoint of the journey to the main Vaishno Devi temple. According to beliefs, Goddess Durga hid herself from the evil Bhairavnath for nine months inside the narrow cave of Ardhkuwari.

4. Banganga Temple:

Banganga Temple, located 3 km from Katra, serves as a religious center with an interesting legend. According to myths, Goddess Durga, while on her way from Bhumika temple to Trikuta Mountain, stopped at this place when Langur Veer became suffering from dehydration. Seeing their distress, the goddess shot an arrow at a stone, creating a waterfall now known as Banganga.

5. Jahan Kosha:

Jahan Kosha is also known as the Great Gun or the World Destroyer and was created by Janardan Karmakar. This cannon is located near Katra Mosque in Kadam Sharif within Topkhana. This mosque is famous for preserving the footprints of Hazrat Muhammad. Initially surprising to many, the large and cumbersome cannon, swaying at a height of 4 feet, was later freed after becoming entangled in tree roots. The cannon is made from a combination of eight metals, including gold, silver, copper, lead, iron, zinc, tin and mercury, collectively known as Ashtadhatu.

6. Dera Baba Banda Temple:

Dera Baba Banda, an iconic historical monastery with a history of 300 years, is located on the banks of river Chenab in Jammu, about 3 km from Katra. Dedicated to the Sikh Guru Sri Guru Gobind Singh, the temple houses relics of the Sikh Guru, including an arrow, a bow, a sword and other important weapons. The interior walls are decorated with golden paint and small carvings, which adds to the feeling of royalty and prosperity of the temple.

7. Baba Dhansar Temple:

Baba Dhansar Temple is located within the caves of Karua Lake, 17 km from Reasi in Jammu and Kashmir, holds important religious significance. It is believed that the lake fulfills one's wishes if one takes a dip with a pure mind and heart. Dedicated to Baba Dhansar is one of the sons of Lord Shiva and Vasudev, this temple narrates the legend of a demon causing trouble at the abode of Karua, with Baba Dhansar seeking intervention from Lord Shiva. This temple, located at a walking distance of 200 meters from the main road, attracts a large number of devotees on Maha Shivratri.

8. Holi Shiv Khori Cave:

The sacred Shiv Khori Cave is located 80 km from Katra and is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The natural cave measuring 200 meters in length, 1 meter in width and 4 meters in height houses the naturally formed Shiva Linga. Various natural formations inside the cave resemble deities like Lord Ganesha, Goddess Parvati and Nandi. The ceiling of the cave, which is shaped like a snake, allows water to drip onto the Shiva linga. The discovery of Shiv khori cave is attributed to a Muslim.

FAQs about places to visit near Vaishno Devi

Q.1 Why is Vaishno Devi famous?

Ans. Vaishno Devi holds prominence as a religious site for Hindus, considered to be the abode of the goddess. Hindus from all over the world gather here for prayers and aarti, making it one of the most visited Hindu temples globally.

Q.2 How many days are enough for Vaishno Devi?

Ans. Plan a minimum 2-3 day trip for hiking. To see the area's top attractions and temples, consider a vacation of at least 4 days.

Q.3 Is it safe to visit Vaishno Devi during Covid times?

Ans. Follow all mandatory safety guidelines provided by the authorities for a safe travel experience. Wear a mask, maintain social distancing, avoid crowded places and regularly clean hands after touching surfaces.

Q.4 How can I reach Vaishno Devi?

Vaishno Devi is well connected to all the states, accessible by train and other modes of transport, making it easily accessible to people across the country.

Q.5 How much does it cost to visit Vaishno Devi?

For a budget trip, Vaishno Devi pilgrimage can be completed within Rs 10,000. Many affordable hotels and Oyo rooms in nearby cities and efficient local transport contribute to cost-effective travel.

Q.6 How old are the caves and temples at Vaishno Devi site?

Ans. Historical data suggests that the caves are approximately one million years old, making Vaishno Devi the oldest religious site in both the country and the world.

Q.7 How many stairs do one have to climb to reach Vaishno Devi Temple?

Ans. The journey to Vaishno Devi temple is about 13 km and it is situated at an altitude of 52,000 feet.

Q.8 What are the top attractions in Katra?

Ans. Maa Vaishno Devi Temple, Charan Paduka, Ban Ganga, Bhairavnath Temple, Baba Dhansar, Himkoti, Bagh-e-Bahu, Sanasar, Jhajjar Kotli, Raghunath Temple are among the top attractions in and around Katra.

Finally, the area around Vaishno Devi offers a spiritual and enriching experience with its sacred temples, natural landscapes and historical sites. Pilgrims and tourists alike are mesmerized by the divine aura and scenic beauty, making it a destination that blends seamlessly religious devotion with the charm of picturesque surroundings.


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