Spiritual Guide: What You Need to Know Before You Go to Vaishno Devi

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Spiritual Guide: What You Need to Know Before You Go to Vaishno Devi

Every Indian has dreamed of visiting Vaishno Devi and seeking the blessings of the goddess. Vaishno Devi ranks as one of the most sacred Hindu pilgrimages in India. Mata Vaishno Devi is believed to be the incarnation of Mahalakshmi and is called by other names such as Sherawali Maa, Trikuta, Mata Rani, and others. The main Vaishno Devi Temple is situated in Katra, which is close to Jammu. This is a spiritual guide on what you need to know before you go to Vaishno Devi.

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Register for Vaishno Devi Yatra

Before you visit Vaishno Devi you should register for the yatra at Katra. You should get the Yatra slip if you want to avoid long queues and the permission at checkpoints. You can also register on the website of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board.

Darshan at Vaishno Devi

To get the darshan of Mata Vaishno Devi, you will have to pass through a tunnel and enter a natural cave. The cave has three pindis, or shrines, which are natural rock formations. These represent the three supreme goddesses of Hindu mythology, which are Goddess Kali, Goddess Lakshmi, and Goddess Saraswati. You can tie a red thread or red cloth to the iron grill at the entrance of the cave.

What to do after Vaishno Devi Darshan

After you have visited Vaishno Devi you can visit the Bhawan. Here you can visit the temples and halls. There are many shops selling puja items here. The Bhawan is a vast complex and it visiting it will be a relishing experience. Then you can visit Bhairon Baba Temple by either a trek or by a ropeway ride. The return journey to Katra is also thrilling. You can choose an alternate route to Katra and see the mesmerizing scenery on the way.

Places to visit on the route to Vaishno Devi

Several places come on the Katra to Vaishno Devi route. Each one of them is religious and deeply sacred.

  • Banganga River: This is the river that emerged from the ground when Vaishno Devi shot an arrow to quench Hanuman’s thirst. You can bathe in this river and get purified before visiting Vaishno Devi Temple. The goddess bathed in this river and washed her hair, and therefore, this river is also called the Bal Ganga River.
  • Charan Paduka Temple: Vaishno Devi was trying to escape Bhairavnath who was a famous tantric. She hid in this temple and left her footprints on a rock. These footprints are now worshipped in this temple.
  • Ardha Kunwari Temple: This temple is in a cave and Vaishno Devi hid in this temple to escape from Bhairavnath. She hid for 9 months in this cave.
  • Bhairav Nath Temple: This is the temple of Bhairavnath, a famous tantrik. When Vaishno Devi killed Bhairavnath, he realized his mistake and asked for forgiveness. Vaishno Devi blessed him and said that pilgrims should pray at Bhairavnath Temple if they want to seek the blessings of Vaishno Devi.
  • Sanjichhat: You can enjoy a scenic valley from Sanjichhat and the scenic mountains in the distance.

How to reach Vaishno Devi

The journey to Vaishno Devi starts from Katra. Vaishno Devi is at a distance of 12 km from Katra and you can cover this distance by walking or taking a helicopter. The older persons can take a doli or pony ride to reach Vaishno Devi. There are three sections that you will have to cover. These are:

  • Banganga to Ardha Kunwari: These are the first 6 km on which there are restaurants along the way.
  • Ardha Kunwari to Sanjichhat: These are the next six kilometers of distance and you will have to climb on staircases.
  • Sanjichhat to Vaishno Devi: This is the final 1.5 km of trek and there are steps which you will have to climb.

Which is the best season to visit Vaishno Devi?

The best time when you should visit Vaishno Devi is between October to March. This is the time when the weather is pleasant and it is not too hot. Avoid summers as it gets too hot during the day. Heavy rainfall during monsoon season is also not the best time to visit Vaishno Devi.

How to reach Katra

You will have to reach Katra to visit Vaishno Devi. Jammu is the closest city to Katra. You can take a flight to Jammu or travel by train or take a car and reach Jammu. Cabs and buses are available from Jammu to reach Vaishno Devi. Jammu to Katra is a 50 km of road distance. Luxury buses are available every 15-20 minutes from Jammu Railway Station or Jammu Airport to leave for Katra. You will have to travel on winding roads and it is an upward climb on hill areas if you are traveling by bus or car.

Helicopter services

Those who want to travel quickly to Vaishno Devi can take the helicopter services. The helicopter is available from Katra to Sanjichhat helipad. You will have to pre-book the helicopter as there is a heavy demand for this service.


This was a spiritual guide on what you need to know before you go to Vaishno Devi. This yatra is one of the truly spiritual yatras in India. A pilgrimage to Vaishno Devi is also a great tourist experience to savor. You will enjoy the view of the mountains, rivers, and dhabas, and pray at Vaishno Devi.

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