Vaishano Devi, A place to visit for peace of mind❤️

Tripoto
11th Jan 2019
Photo of Vaishano Devi, A place to visit for peace of mind❤️ by Kapil Bhardwaj
Day 1

Me and my elder sister decided to visit the shrine at the the starting of the year this time.Earlier we used to visit it towards the end of the year , between September to December). So we got our tickets booked for 11th of January 2K19. Our carrier was Jammu Mail 14033, which starts from Old Delhi and covers major North railway stations such as Panipat, Kurukshetra, Chandigarh, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Pathakot(this city is really close to my ????, why..?? will tell you soon why), Jammu and terminates at Shree Mata Vaishano Devi Katra station.

On the day of the trip, at around 6PM.. we booked ola to reach Old Delhi railway station on time i.e. before 8:35 PM, which is the train departure time.

On the way to railway station, , i was sharing the story of the movie with my sister ( as in the morning i had seen the movie 'The Accidental Prime Minister'). Alongwith the story , our views on the political parties in India were also shared. The ola driver interrupt us in between and shared his view and we were shocked at that time as the driver was on the same page as us. He was also in the favor of the party which we support ❤️. It was a good ride to the Old Delhi railway station.

Vaishano Devi ❤️

Location: On Trikoot Parvat (Hill), in Katra of Udhampur district at Jammu

Dedicated to: Goddess Vaishnavi

Attraction: Major pilgrimage of the Hindus

How to reach: One can easily reach Vaishno Devi Temple by taking regular Buses or by hiring taxis from Jammu. Now rail connectivity is also available till Katra,i.e. Shri Mata Vaishano Devi Katra Railway Station

Vaishano Devi..Its my favorite place or can say favorite devotional place. I usually come here every year for devi's darshan, this year being the sixth one in the row. First of all, let me tell you guys that my father has served the army for more than 26 years , thus I got the privilege of being allowed entry through the gate no-5 meant for the defence personnel and their families. ( thanks to the ECHS card which I always have in my wallet . :) I did not know till then that it can be used at any place other than ECHS empanelled hospitals or cantonment gates ) One more thing that from the starting of 2K19, i have visited 5 devotional places within the first 15 days.. the places are 'Jhandewalan temple, situated in New Delhi', 'ShidhdhiVinayak temple, at Mumbai', ' Shirdi Sai baba', ' Haji Ali Dargah, at Mumbai', 'Vaishano Devi, Katra in Jammu'.

As soon as we reached the station, we moved towards the platform#16, as the train is scheduled from the same platform.

The train arrived around 8:10PM, we took our seat allocated to us, had dinner and planned to sleep so that we start the yatra when we reach Katra.

Pic from inside the train

Photo of Old Delhi Railway Station, Mahatma Gandhi Park, Chandni Chowk, Delhi by Kapil Bhardwaj

#Inside the coach

Photo of Old Delhi Railway Station, Mahatma Gandhi Park, Chandni Chowk, Delhi by Kapil Bhardwaj

#The journey starts ❤️????

Photo of Old Delhi Railway Station, Mahatma Gandhi Park, Chandni Chowk, Delhi by Kapil Bhardwaj
Day 2

Next morning, I woke up around 6-7AM. Train was running late by an hour.

We reached Pathankot around 7AM.

Pathankot is really close to my heart ???? because I spent my childhood here.. From LKG to 6th class, i studied here. We lived in the Mamun cantt in Pathankot all these years. By seeing the station, i realised how time flies by. Earlier we used to take the train from the same station to our hometown in the vacation time and now we are just waving the station a goodbye. Symbolic !

The beauty of Himalayas started catching our eyes as we crossed Punjab.

Around 9:30-10AM, we reached Jammu railway station. The stoppage was of 10 minutes so i bought chole bhature from the railway station (every year we bought the same from the same shop at the railway station).

Journey of an hour and a half remained after crossing the Jammu Railway station. The world at the other side of the window was awesome as the train track is constructed using tunnels by cutting down the mountain. The snow clad mountains added to the beauty.

The sunrise

Photo of Jammu Railway Station, Trikuta Nagar, Jammu by Kapil Bhardwaj

View from the train

Photo of Jammu Railway Station, Trikuta Nagar, Jammu by Kapil Bhardwaj

Chole bhature at Jammu Tawi Railway Station

Photo of Jammu Railway Station, Trikuta Nagar, Jammu by Kapil Bhardwaj

We reached Katra station at around 11:30AM.

After taking our belongings we left the train and hired an auto rickshaw to our favorite hotel in Katra, i.e. Hotel Kashmir Residency. It's on Jammu road in the main market.

At Shri Mata Vaishano Devi Katra station

Photo of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra, Katra, Jammu and Kashmir by Kapil Bhardwaj

The holy place

Photo of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra, Katra, Jammu and Kashmir by Kapil Bhardwaj

Outside of the station

Photo of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra, Katra, Jammu and Kashmir by Kapil Bhardwaj

The hotel staff welcomed us very politely as we visit there every year .Our visit to Katra implies a visit to Hotel Kashmir Residency. :)

One of the staff member named Bheem singh, knew that we only take the rooms at the ground floor.

He booked room#G5 for us and took us to that room.

After freshening up and having tea we removed the unnecessary things/clothes from our bags and packed the necessary items that were to be used in the yatra towards the Bhawan.

After we packed our bags and left the room, the hotel arranged a cab to take us towards the main entrance from where the yatra starts.

Morning Tea at the Hotel Kashmir Residency

Photo of Hotel Kashmir Residency, Katra by Kapil Bhardwaj

#G5

Photo of Hotel Kashmir Residency, Katra by Kapil Bhardwaj

On the route,we bought Mata ka chola, chunri etc which we usually do. After we bought these things, we went straight to the army gate pass office so that we can have the army gate pass for gate#5.

We had our passes in our hand and now we moved to the main entrance.

For the people who are not able to cover the yatra by walk, they can take pithoo, palki, khchchar (mule, will drop you at ardhkuwari then they have to go through battery car) which is of fixed rate/price decided by the shrine board of Mata Vaishano Devi. For reference i have attached the pic of price list for the pithoo,palki, mule etc.

For the mules, there is a registration, and a batch attached to the mule, as you can see in the pic.

Gate pass for VIP entry through army gate.. gate#5

Photo of Vaishano Devi, A place to visit for peace of mind❤️ by Kapil Bhardwaj

Main entrance from where the yatra begins

Photo of Vaishano Devi, A place to visit for peace of mind❤️ by Kapil Bhardwaj

The rate list for pithoo and palki for the people who aren't able to cover the yatra by walk..

Photo of Vaishano Devi, A place to visit for peace of mind❤️ by Kapil Bhardwaj

Mike with the code or registration number

Photo of Vaishano Devi, A place to visit for peace of mind❤️ by Kapil Bhardwaj

Mules after entering from the main entrance

Photo of Vaishano Devi, A place to visit for peace of mind❤️ by Kapil Bhardwaj

At around 2:30PM, After the security check at the main entrance, we had lunch at the bhandara/langar (started by Late Shri Gulshan Kumar ji, the founder of T-Series). The staff members there at the langar don't take any kind of donations from any person.

Before taking entry to the langar, we placed our belongings into to cloak room which cost around Rs.20/baggage.

After having food (consisting of Puri-chole & Kadi-rice) from the langar, i started the stop watch to check the time to cover the yatra & then we started to ascend.

Just from the exist of the langar, the shrine board has developed a way to reach to ardhkuwari with a cost of around 80 Crore INR. The route is now being used by the people who are not able to walk on high slope as the new route is mainly plain & not having high slopes.

We always completed our yatra through the older route.This time also we did not make any ammendents to our plan and decided to go with the same route.

The place where langar is distributed to the common people

Photo of Vaishano Devi, A place to visit for peace of mind❤️ by Kapil Bhardwaj

Cloak room slip

Photo of Vaishano Devi, A place to visit for peace of mind❤️ by Kapil Bhardwaj

Pic taken while we are having the langar

Photo of Vaishano Devi, A place to visit for peace of mind❤️ by Kapil Bhardwaj

There newly developed route to reach ardhkuwari

Photo of Vaishano Devi, A place to visit for peace of mind❤️ by Kapil Bhardwaj

On the route there are few places such as 'charan paduka temple, banganga ghatt, park at the banganga etc.

There are around 4check posts for security purposes which start from the main entrance and end at the Bhawan.

Temple Charan paduka

Photo of Vaishano Devi, A place to visit for peace of mind❤️ by Kapil Bhardwaj

Check posts between the route.. For the security purposes..

Photo of Vaishano Devi, A place to visit for peace of mind❤️ by Kapil Bhardwaj

We reached around 5:15PM at ardhkuwari . It took us 1hr and 23 minutes.

Let me tell you about the ardhkuwari-

-There are three main caves located at Vaishno Devi, of which the main cave remains closed most of the year. It is said that the three caves combined are too long for a single pilgrimage and that is why only two caves are kept open for the flock of people to see.

-The ancient cave as the Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine holds lot of importance. It is believed that this cave preserves the body of Bhairo Nath whom the Goddess killed with her Trishul (Trident). The legend has it when Vaishnavi Devi beheaded Bhairo Nath, his head flew to the Bhairo Valley and his rest of the body remained in the cave.

-At Ardhkuwari a separate cave is said to be the place where Vaishno Devi hid from Bhairo Nath for 9 months. It is said, the Goddess positioned herself in the same way as an unborn child is placed in his/her mother’s womb. This cave is also known as Garbhjun.

-According to believers, those who enter Garbhjun cave acquire freedom from entering the womb again. If incase one is born again/or is conceived by the mother then one is free from all the problems during childbirth.

This is all about the caves at ardhkuwari.

For the pilgrim's who is not about to walk, they can take battery car from ardhkuwari.

Ardhkuwari is about half the distance of the total travel, i.e. about 6 kms. Height wise also it is about half the height of the Shrine. So to reach Ardhkuwari you need about half the effort. The object of introducing Battery Car was that for those elderly devotees who cannot trek the entire 14 kms can trek half the distance and half the height upto Ardhkuwari and from there take a Battery Car.

Battery car runs on a route different from the one for ponies which is totally tiled with cement tiles and is pretty smooth. This route is about 6 kms and the battery car covers it in about 15-20 minutes. It has Nescafe and a few other outlets along the way.

A large notice at the ticket counter of the Battery Car states that this is only for senior citizens and others should not waste time. The ticket price is Rs 300 upto the Shrine and Rs 200 on the way back. A pony from Ardhkuwari to the Shrine costs about Rs 600.

We did not take the passes for the entry at ardhkuwari this time due to lack of time. So we moved forward to reach the Bhawan by walk.

Battery car services at ardhkuwari, used to take old age people, children's, ladies or any handicapped people to the Bhawan

Photo of Ardhkunwari Mata Gufa, Tilak Nagar, Purana Daroor, Dhar Vaishno Devi by Kapil Bhardwaj

First look of ardhkuwari

Photo of Ardhkunwari Mata Gufa, Tilak Nagar, Purana Daroor, Dhar Vaishno Devi by Kapil Bhardwaj

View, the route is full of such scenic view

Photo of Ardhkunwari Mata Gufa, Tilak Nagar, Purana Daroor, Dhar Vaishno Devi by Kapil Bhardwaj

Other scenic view

Photo of Ardhkunwari Mata Gufa, Tilak Nagar, Purana Daroor, Dhar Vaishno Devi by Kapil Bhardwaj

Took this Screenshot after we reached to ardhkuwari

Photo of Ardhkunwari Mata Gufa, Tilak Nagar, Purana Daroor, Dhar Vaishno Devi by Kapil Bhardwaj

Let me tell you some facts about Vaishano Devi temple:

-Vaishno Devi is amongst the most revered Hindu pilgrimages sites in India. Situated at the Trikuta Hills in Jammu (Katra), the cave temple of Goddess Vaishno Devi, who is the manifestation of Goddess Parvati or Shakti is said to be the abode of 33 Hindu gods.

-Vaishno Devi Temple is the most-sought after pilgrimage of the Hindus. Located at Trikoot Parvat, Mata Vaishno Mandir is the holiest shrine of India and it is famous all over the World. The temple is accessible by a journey of 13 kms from Katra. Katra is a small town that falls in Udhampur district of Jammu. From Jammu, Katra lies at a distance of 50 kms

-Navaratri is considered the most auspicious time to visit Mata Vaishno Devi cave temples. Visiting Vaishno Devi during the Navaratras is believed as being one step closer to attaining heaven.

These are some facts (mentioned above)❤️????

After around 1 hr and 20 minutes (at 6:30 aprox) , we reached to the Bhawan. (We took almost 3hrs to reach Bhawan from the starting,i e. The place where we had lunch in the langar.)

As this is the slot for the aarti, the temple gate is closed till 8:30PM.

Utilizing the time, We bought prashad from the Prashad counter near the bhawan by the shrine board. We had tea and snacks as a evening snacks at annapoorna bhaojnayala . After that, we went to the Kalika Bhawan, bought tokens (Rs 70 per head) for the waiting room to take bath as Kalika Bhawan provides rooms with hot water all the time.

It was almost 8:30 PM as we took bath. We directly went to the cloak room for the army persons just opposite to Gate#5.

After we submitted our belongings at the cloak room, we went to the gate#5, took the entry in the darshan queue. The queue wasn't that long that we have seen earlier (in the past years).

We had a great darshan of Mata Vaishano Devi.❤️????

At that time the temperature decreased drastically, actually the temperature was already low but as we were ascending so our body was warm not affected by that temperature at the time of the yatra walk.. but when we reached there, our body got rest for almost 2hrs, so now we were feeling the chilling temperature.

Photo of Vaishno Devi, Katra-Reasi Rd, Bhavan, Katra, Jammu and Kashmir by Kapil Bhardwaj
Photo of Vaishno Devi, Katra-Reasi Rd, Bhavan, Katra, Jammu and Kashmir by Kapil Bhardwaj
Photo of Vaishno Devi, Katra-Reasi Rd, Bhavan, Katra, Jammu and Kashmir by Kapil Bhardwaj
Photo of Vaishno Devi, Katra-Reasi Rd, Bhavan, Katra, Jammu and Kashmir by Kapil Bhardwaj
Photo of Vaishno Devi, Katra-Reasi Rd, Bhavan, Katra, Jammu and Kashmir by Kapil Bhardwaj

The time taken to reach Bhawan, started after having lunch from the langar????

Photo of Vaishno Devi, Katra-Reasi Rd, Bhavan, Katra, Jammu and Kashmir by Kapil Bhardwaj

Bhairon Temple

Bhairon Temple is standing on the place where once his head was knocked down. The area is known as Bhairon Ghati and it is at a distance of 2.5 kms from the holy cave. In the last moments, Bhairav Nath beseeched the Goddess for forgiveness. Vaishno Devi knew that the objective behind the attack was to attain salvation. The Goddess liberated Bhairon from the cycle of life and death.

In addition to it, Mata acclaimed that whosoever, come to her cave also has to visit Bhairon Temple in order to complete their pilgrimage. Soon after this, Vaishno assumed the image of a rock in the form of three 'Pindis' and absorbed herself into meditation forever. As per the sayings, the rock at the entrance of the holy cave is the horrified torso of Bhairon Nath, who was forgiven by Vaishno Devi in his last moments.

These are some facts about bhairon ghati.

We started yatra/walk towards Bhairon temple, as its on the peak of the mountain, the slope is highest/toughest as compared to the walk from katra to tha Bhawan.

In the middle of the walk/yatra, snowfall starts (it was the weather forecast that snowfall may happen at Vaishano Devi).

We reached after 30-35 minutes with having snow on our shoulders and bags. We bought prashad from the Prashad counter near the Bhairon Temple.

As the temple is on the peak, most of the people doesn't come to Bhairon Temple, so the rush is very less there.

After darshan of Bhairon Temple, we enjoyed the snowfall. As its the midnight and also our hands were freezed at that time, we aren't able to capture those moments into the image/picture.

After enjoying the snowfall for around 30-40 minutes, we left for the katra from the route which is behind the temple and covers Saanchi Chatt (it is basically helipad, for the people who visit the bhawan through helicopter) and joined to Ardhkuwadi Temple (by passing the Bhawan this time)

After the darshan went to the cloak room, took our belongings and went to Sagar Ratna restaurant near the bhawan, we ordered our dinner. As the Sagar Ratna restaurant is always full, we have our baggage on the table and took our food from the counter. After completing our dinner its almost 10:45PM, we started moving towards Bhairo ghati so that we can cover the yatra or to reach katra by 3-4AM

Day 3

In between the route, we had tea from the shops near around 1km from Ardhkuwari temple. We have ti stop there for around 10-15 minutes more as the snowfall converted into rain at this place.

By 12:40-12:50AM, we reached to Ardhkuwari temple from the route behind the Bhairon Temple, we took a rest for around 10 minutes, and then we left for katra

Sign board, for katra, at Ardhkuwari

Photo of Ardhkunwari Mata Gufa, Tilak Nagar, Purana Daroor, Dhar Vaishno Devi by Kapil Bhardwaj

Ardhkuwari temple, the caves are inside the temple

Photo of Ardhkunwari Mata Gufa, Tilak Nagar, Purana Daroor, Dhar Vaishno Devi by Kapil Bhardwaj

After having Maggi in between the yatra from Ardhkuwari to katra, we reached katra around 2:45AM.

The rain doesn't stop in between the route from Ardhkuwari to katra. Rain starts and then stops, the rain game was on the peak at that time, but we haven't stopped.

We called our hotel staff to pick up us from the main entrance. The cab appears as soon as we reached the main entrance.

At around 3;10AM, we reached to the hotel room and after fresh n up, we go to sleep.

In the morning, we woke up around 9:30AM. After having Tea, we goes to the market to buy dry fruits as the dry fruits are good in quality and also cheaper than that in the NCR region.

At the market we got to know that Ardhkuwari is also covered with snow. We were happy that we didn't stopped there for long, as we may stuck at that time cause of the snow fall.

After we bought the stuff, we checked out from the hotel and book a auto to reach the Railway Station.

Mountaina covered with snow

Photo of Hotel Kashmir Residency, Katra by Kapil Bhardwaj

Morning view

Photo of Hotel Kashmir Residency, Katra by Kapil Bhardwaj

We reached the railway station at around 2PM.

As the train is already placed on the assigned platform, we took our place in the assigned coach. As i kove photography, i took few pics from the station.

View of the mountain at which Ardhkuwari situated from the Shri Mata Vaishano Devi Katra station????

Photo of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra, Katra, Jammu and Kashmir by Kapil Bhardwaj

Its selfie time.❤️

Photo of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra, Katra, Jammu and Kashmir by Kapil Bhardwaj

One more selfie ????

Photo of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra, Katra, Jammu and Kashmir by Kapil Bhardwaj

The train and the view ???? just loved it

Photo of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra, Katra, Jammu and Kashmir by Kapil Bhardwaj

❤️

Photo of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra, Katra, Jammu and Kashmir by Kapil Bhardwaj
Day 4

On Monday, At around 5:30AM, we reached to Old Delhi.

Everything was great until we booked OLA, the OLA drivers in delhi are so full of ego, they will directly say that they can't come or they will say that they are coming and also cancel the ride..

After trying for more than 5-6 times, an OLA driver got ready to drop us to ghaziabad.

After we sat in the cab, it was Swift Dzire, the ola driver ask 'Bhaiya OTP kaha dalenge' & we were like  dude that's why he is dropping us????

Actually the case was, the actual driver was having bad health so he let his relative or friend to take the ola for the day. The current driver only knew how to drive a car, NOTHING EXCEPT THAT.

In between the ride, when the  windshield became foggy, he used cloth to remove that.. i was like dude please drop us safely to  home..!!! second time when he faced the same, he started wiper to remove the fogg which was inside the car. Exactly at that moment, i started the blower so that the fogg does not stick to the windshield again.

After such a drastic ride, we at last reached  our home successfully.

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