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Jammu and Kashmir
Mata Vaishnodevi-Katra

Jai Mata Di!! This temple is one of the most revered and is located near Katra town of Reasi district Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. The shrine is at an altitude of 5300 feet and a distance of approximately 12 km (7.5 mi) from Katra. Approximately 8 million pilgrims (yatris) visit the temple every year and it is the second most visited religious shrine in India, after Tirumala Venkateswara Temple. The Sri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board maintains the shrine. A rail link from Udhampur to Katra is being built to facilitate pilgrimage

Along with Maa Vishno Devi temple one should visit the Bhairav Nath’s temple in order to ensure completion of the pilgrimage after the darshan of the Goddess. There are stories related to Maa Vaishnodevi, her original name was Trikuta which later became Vaishnavi. When Trikuta was 9 years old, she sought her father's permission for doing penance on the seashore. Trikuta prayed to Lord Vishnu in the form of Rama. During Shree Rama's search for Sita, He reached the seashore along with His army. His eyes fell on this divine girl in deep meditation. Trikuta told Shree Rama that she had accepted Him as her husband. Shree Rama told her that in this Incarnation He had vowed to be faithful to only Sita. However pleased with her devotion, Lord Rama gave her name Vaishnavi (devotee of Lord Rama (Maha Vishnu) and assured her that in Kaliyuga He would manifest as Kalki and would marry her. In the meantime Shree Rama asked Trikuta to meditate in the cave found in the Trikuta Range of Manik Mountains, situated in Northern India. Lord Ram gave her a bow and arrows, army of monkeys and a lion for her protection, Ma decided to observe the 'Navratra' for the victory of Shree Rama against Ravana. Hence one reads the Ramayana during the 9 days of Navratra, in remembrance of the above connection. Shree Rama promised that the whole world would sing Ma Vaishno Devi's praise. Lord Rama also said Trikuta was to become famous as Vaishno Devi and would become immortal forever. The abode of Maa Vaishno Devi is attaining huge pilgrimage attraction due to Lord Rama's blessings to the goddess

How To Reach

By Flight: Jammu is the domestic airport which lies about 50 kms from Katra. From here one has to trek From Katra, after getting the 'parchi' for darshan, devotees can proceed to the Bhavan. The way to Bhavan is steep and requires a long walk uphill. Alternatively ponies and palanquins are also available. Helicopter service can also be taken for a large part of the trip. The Trust offers comfortable stay for pilgrims.

By Rail: A rail link from Udhampur to Katra is being built to facilitate pilgrimage. But as of now the nearest station is Jammu Tawi located at 50 kms from from Katra.

By Road: Katra is well linked with road. There are many deluxe and luxury coaches available the booking can be done online on most of the booking portal. Private taxis both on hiring and sharing basis are available from Jammu Taxi stand very close to Railway station.

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