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One of the holiest and most revered pilgrim centres in the country, Vaishno Devi Mandir (Mata Rani) in Katra is the second most visited temple in India. Dedicated to Goddess Shakti (also called Mata Rani and Vaishnavi), the shrine is visited by more than 8 million pilgrims every year and has a number of mythological legends associated with it. 

One of them is as follows--known as Trikuta, during young age, she gradually began being called Vaishnavi as it was believed that she was a divine child and belonged to Lord Vishnu's lineage.  Years later in an act of penance, she prayed to Lord Rama (incarnation of Lord Vishnu). Rama came upon her during his search for Sita, his wife, and was impressed with her dedication, granting her a boon, to which she asked him to take her as his wife. Being already devoted to Sita in that life, Rama promised her that in his final human incarnation on earth as Kalki, he will marry her.

Before leaving, he asked her to continue her meditation up on the Trikuta mountain cave (the site of the present shrine) and gave her a bow, arrows, an army of monkey and a lion for her protection. She went to the cave to meditate and took the shape of a three-headed rock (pindis). The rock is still present at the site and is believed to be the goddess, still in the act of meditation.  Unlike the usual Hindu temples, the sanctum sanctorum (the cave) has no idol or picture of Gods and Goddesses, but only the three-headed rock formation, representing, Goddess Kali, Goddess Laxmi and Goddess Saraswati. The way to this shrine (Bhavan) is very steep and is a hard walk. However, palanquins, ponies and helicopters are available to carry pilgrims up to the shrine. The pilgrims of  Vaishno Devi Mandir (Mata Rani)  also believe that the Goddess herself calls to her children (devotees), and if she wishes they are pulled to her, no matter where they are. Conversely, it is also believed that no matter how high and mighty you may be, or how keen you are to take darshan of the devi, you will not be able to succeed in your journey, unless you get the call of the Goddess. On your way to the cave, you will pass the original entrance to it (closed for most of the year), which is a small and narrow hole through which one has to crawl for several minutes to reach the Pindis.  Due to easier access and more efficient management of the darshan line, an entry and exit tunnel has been created. Once you enter the tunnel, absolute silence is to be maintained. The walls of the tunnel are lined with pictures and photographs which explain the history of the shrine and act as guidance for the final darshan. 

However, going through the original cave entrance to reach the natural rock formations (Pindis) is an experience by itself. This entrance is opened only during lean seasons and festive occasions. The temple management board also offers free and rented accommodation and a subsidised 'no-profit' vegetarian eatery.  The  Vaishno Devi Mandir (Mata Rani)  is believed to be the most important Shakteepeetha (place where the eternal energy of the Goddess has concentrated and taken abode, as many claim that the skull of Mata Sati fell at this place during her self-immolation, while others believe that it was her right arm that fell here. Indeed, one does find a stone hand in the cave, which devotees call as 'the hand that grants boons and blessings'.
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varun kukreja
varun kukreja
Aarti timing in winter
Nov 13 2017
How much time to take from katra if i walk. tell me as i have to schedule my trip according to that. and whats aarti time in morning and evening in winters
Ankur Gupta
Ankur Gupta
Fake Timimg Info
Aug 09 2017
Its very bad to hear that IXIGo providing wrong info to peoples Temple opens 24/7 except aarti time, during aarti you have to wait for 2 hrs in queue. Simillarly for Bhairanv Baba Temple Jai Mata DI
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Vaishno Devi Mandir Travel Guide


Vaishno Devi Mandir Tourism - Get information on Vaishno Devi Mandir tourist places and sightseeing tours. This page presents a visual Vaishno Devi Mandir travel guide. Our friendly trip advisor from ixigo helps you plan your next tour and gives you great ideas on what to do, where to eat, where to stay and when to go there. We curate the best information from the web to give you precise, meaningful and useful travel guide for leading places to visit in india and from across the world. ixigo has curated the best travel information on Vaishno Devi Mandir (Mata Rani, Vaishnavi) tourism spanning genres as diverse as tourist places, tourist spots, major sightseeing attractions, the best time to visit, the top places to visit in Vaishno Devi Mandir, the must-see things to see and do, maps, restaurants, hotels, nearby tourist destinations, local public information and more. To start with check out information on how to reach Vaishno Devi Mandir :
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