Paragraph on Vaishnodevi Shrine

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Situated in Jammu, this cave shrine is in the Trikuta mountains. This is one of the most significant pilgrimage centres for Hindus.


Devotees trek 14 kms to worship at the rock formations that represent the divine aspects of goddesses Kali, Lakshmi and Sarasvati.

A legend about Vaishno Devi that in Treta Yuga, when Dharma was in danger, the three deities, Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and Mahasarasvati concentrated their supreme powers into one divine form.

When this maiden en­quired the deities as to why they created her. She was being told that she is being empowered to protect and spread Dharma in the world She was further informed that she will take birth as the daughter of the Ocean after getting the virtues of Lord Vishnu and on getting self-inspired, will propagate the Dharma. She was named Trikuta, later came to be known as ‘Vaishno Devi’ thereafter and made Trikut Ranges her abode. Soon she became popular and ascetics and erudite men from all places started visiting her.

Later, she took the permission from her father to leave for the shore of the oceans in order to perform her rigorous penance awaiting Lord Rama. Eventually when the latter came by that route in search of his abducted wife ‘Sita’. Rama becomes extremely pleased to see her in deep penance and on enquir­ing he learns that the purpose behind her meditation is to have Lord Rama as her spouse.


But, Rama was a monogamist, but Trikuta was adamant. Atleast Rama told her that he would visit her cottage the next time and if at that time she recognise him he would marry her.

Unfortunately when Rama revisited her in guise of a very old man, while his returns from Lanka, Trikuta failed to recognise him. Lord Rama, however, consoled her that in the Kaliyuga when he would take the Kalki incarnation, he would accept her as his consort; till that time she was to wait for him in the cave in the triple peaked Trikut mountain of the Manirat Ranges, which would be used by the Pandavas and Lord Krishna in the Dvapara Yuga. He also told her that she would acquire great fame and glory.

Today she is being worshipped and her shrine has become one of the most sacred centres for Hindu pilgrims. Vasishno Devi Shrine is on the high peaks of the Shivalik ranges of the Himalayas. This is said that “when the Mother calls that one reaches there.”

The prominent stations on the route and their distances (km) and heights (feet) above sea level are as follows:

Vaishno Bhavan2.55200
Bhairav Mandir1.56583
Sanjhi Chhat27200
Hatthi Mattha2.56500
Adi Kumari4.54780
Charan Paduka1.53380
Ban Ganga12800
Darshani Darwaza12700

It is customary to take a bath at the holy Ban-Ganga or bath houses of the temple complex before entering the holy cave. Then it is time for the devotees to stand or sit in the winding queue at the specified gate and chant ‘Jai Mata Di’ the ultimate destination of which is the holy cave.

This cave is a full 200 meter tunnel cut within solid rock. The deity resides here in the form of three ‘Pindi’s’, i.e., Kali, Lakshmi and Sarasvati in a row facing the pilgrims. The ‘darshan’ of Vaishno Devi is incomplete without a visit to the temple of Bairo Bhali Dev which is situated on an adjoining hilltop. Here runs a fully fledged free catering ‘Langar’ for the benefit of the pilgrims round the clock.

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