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Pritha Manchanda Jun 03 2014

Mention some interesting facts about Vaishno Devi Temple.

Kanika Nevatia Jun 03 2014
10 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

Planning a trip to Vaishno Devi? The Vaishno Devi Temple located in the state of Jammu and Kashmir is considered so sacred that people flock from all across India for pilgrimage here.The temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga, known fondly here as Vaishno Maa. Here are some interesting facts about Vaishno Devi that are sure to take your spirituality to another level altogether.


Photo of Vaishno Devi (by Abhishek Chandra)


A complete holy experience

Pilgrimage to the Vaishno Devi Temple is considered complete only if one pays respect at every small religious places enroute the main shrine such as Nagrota, Ban Ganga, Charan Paduka and Ardh Kuwari and is followed by a visit to the Bhairon Temple. These are believed to be places Goddess Durga visited before finally leaving her human form behind at the sanctum sanctorum of the main cave.


The three caves

The original cave remains closed most of the year as it is so narrow that it takes too long for a single pilgrim to pass through. The two caves that now lead to the main sanctum are man-made and constructed to help reduce the rush of pilgrims eager to catch a glimpse of the deity.


Photo of Cave interior (by Raju Hardoi)


Mata ka bulawa

It is believed that one can not make a plan to visit the holy temple unless and until “Vaishno Devi’’ wants them to. This is what lead to coining the phrase-- “Chalo bulawa aaya hai, mata ne bulaya hai” (This means that its time to visit the temple as Goddess Durga is calling us)


The original track

For hundreds of years, pilgrims would have to walk over an un-cemented stoned road to reach the main shrine from Katra. There were also a few flights of stairs, but were broken and had no railings.


The new track

In the early 1900s, it was realised that the yatra route was not wide enough to accommodate the growing traffic of pilgrims. As a result, the mountain was cut to build a new road from Ardh Kuwari (the halfway point). While horses ply pilgrims up the mountain, they are not allowed beyond this point. Pilgrims walk up or take battery-operated autos to reach the temple.


Photo of the new track (by Vinayaraj)

The statistics

The number of people visiting the shrine every year have gone from about 14 lakh in 1986 when the Shrine Board took over to about 95 lakh in 2013. Come snow, hail or storm, pilgrims do not hesitate on embarking on this journey to get a darshan of Vaishno Devi.


Darshan

Pilgrims spend several hours climbing to and then waiting outside the main shrine. The actual darshan, however, is over in a blink. Given the huge crowds eager to get darshan, the shrine authorities don’t allow pilgrims to stand in front of the main idol for more than 30 seconds. Even a brief glimpse of the idol at Vaishno Devi is believed to be enough to free one of all sins.


Photo of main idol (by Bhisham)


The Coconut Prasad

Though presenting a coconut to Goddess Durga is believed to be highly auspicious, you still can’t take your coconut inside the cave. You have to leave your coconut at a counter outside and on returning are provided with another coconut (which obviously isn’t the one you bought). It is believed that this practice is carried out due to security reasons.


Shrine Board coins

For years, the Vaishno Devi Shrine Board gave out coins with a Shrine Board stamp on them to all pilgrims as a souvenir. But did you know that now there is government-authorized Vaishno Devi Shrine Board INR 5 coin?


Photo of Shrine Board coins


Water Channels

As part of the rituals of a visit to Vaishno Devi, pilgrims bathe at the Main Bhawan before proceeding to the temple. The water used for bathing actually comes from the main cave of the temple complex itself. The Shrine Board has channelized the water coming from the main cave to all bathing areas to ensure no matter where you bathe, the holy water reaches you.

Hope a look at these interesting facts about Vaishno Devi make your next trip there a lot more interesting! In case you are planning to visit the holy shrine, Katra is the nearest town and the base camp from where starts the journey. Delhi is a prime transit point to access Katra and then Vaishno Devi, and there is an easy availability of Delhi to Katra cabs.

Jaldi bulao mata. Darshan k liyre be chain hai. jai mata di
Thank you Kanika Nevatia for the above interesting facts of Jai Maa Vaishno Devi.
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Sudhir Sharma Oct 02 2014
3 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes
Jai Mata Di... You can check out some more interesting facts here...
http://www.travelplay.in/mata-vaishno-devi
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3 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes
jai maa vaishno devi
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