Vaishno Devi Temple is situated in Trikuta Mountains of Jammu and Kashmir State, dedicated to Goddess Vaishno Devi (Mother Goddess). This Vaishno Devi Holy shrine is situated at an altitude of 5200 feet inside a cave and it is believed that Mother goddess in this temple will fulfills whatever Her children wish for. A legend is that, the three Goddesses viz. Goddess Maha Kali (Goddess Shakthi), Goddess Lakshmi and Goddess Saraswati got together one day and pooled their collective Tejas (spiritual strength). A stunningly bright light emanated from the place where the Tejas of the three Goddesses’ mixed and a beautiful young girl emerged out of this Tejas.
Three goddesses blessed the girl and orders that, she will take birth in the house of Ratankar and his wife who reside in the south India. Sometimes later a very beautiful girl child was born to Ratankar and his wife. They named the child Vaishnavi. Even as a young girl, Goddess Vaishno Devi displayed a hunger of knowledge and realized no amount of learning and teaching could satisfy it. And She started searching within herself for the answers which could not be found anywhere and so learned the art of meditation and realized that meditation can only bring Her close to her objective. Thus Vaishnavi renounced all Her worldly comforts and went to the forest to meditate in peace.
The presiding deity of this temple is Vaishno Devi. Goddess Vaishno Devi is also called by the names ‘Mata Rani’ and ‘Vaishnavi’. Vaishno Devi temple is one of the 108 Shakti Peetha temples. This temple is considered as the best of all the Shakti Peetha temples which is said to be possess eternal energy through keeping Mother Goddess safe. The manifestation of this temple is that Mother Goddess shines here in three forms which are Goddess Mahakali, Goddess Mahalakshmi and Goddess Mahasaraswati.
Goddess Mahakali stands to vanquish the forces of darkness. Goddess Mahalakshmi stands for nourishment, prosperity, and wellbeing. Goddess Mahasaraswati represents purity and goodness. This is the only temple where Goddesses are in three forms and possess divine blessings to the devotees. The idol of Lord Bhairo Nath, who was decapitated by Mother Goddess for a cause is also found at the entry point to the holy cave temple. The symbol of Lord Ganesh, Lord Surya Dev, Lord Chandra Dev and Lord Hanuman is also found on the original tunnel of the holy shrine. The mountain nearest to the Trikuta Mountain is said to be supervises the holy shrine which symbolizes the Pandavas in five stone structures.
Navaratri Festival – April and October. Navaratri basically means “Nine Nights” and is celebrated twice in a year in this temple. During these nine days and nights, prayers are offered to Mother Goddess. Significance of 9 Nights are:
1st – 3rd day of Navaratri
On the first day of the Navaratras, a small bed of mud is prepared in the puja room and barley seeds are sown on it. These initial days are dedicated to Goddess Durga, the Goddess of power and energy.
4th – 6th day of Navaratri
During these days, Goddess Lakshmi, the Goddess of peace and prosperity is worshipped.
7th – 8th day of Navaratri
These final days belong to Goddess Saraswati who is worshipped to acquire the spiritual knowledge. This in turn will free us from all earthly bondage. And on the 8th day of this colorful festival, yagna (holy fire) is performed.
9th day – Mahanavami
The festival of Navaratri culminates in Mahanavami. On this day Kanya Puja is performed. Nine young girls representing the nine forms of Goddess Durga are worshiped.
- Aarti – morning and evening
- Darshans and Prasad – morning and evening
There are regular buses leaving for the 52 km trip from the central bus stand in Jammu to where the road ends at Katra (2 hours).
The nearest train station is in Jammu.
The nearest airport is in Jammu, which is 48 km from Katra. There is a helicopter service that departs from the airport at Sanjhi Chat at Jammu in the morning.
- Raghunath Temple
- Ranbireshwar Temple
- Mansar Lake