“JAI MATA DI”, these three words fill an immense joy and sustains the power to tranquilize our soul to much greater limit. Goddess Durga, often referred to as Mata or mother, is worshipped by the Indians who follow Hindu religion. This shrine, where all the Hindu devotees visit to worship Maadurga is manifested as Vaishnodevi. Vaishnodevi is said to be one of the 108 Shaktipeetha, and have an interesting past related to it. Vaishnodevi trip is an awesome experience where, you not only feel the nature within you, but also a sensational energy flowing through your soul.
Vaishnodevi is situated near Katra, a place at Jammu which is considered to be the “heaven of earth”. The curvy and irregular roads engraved through the mountains give you an idea about the scenic beauty of this place on your way to Katra. Katra is well connected by Road, and there is a train to Katra directly from Delhi, which was recently opened. These roads are very small and there is always a scope for an accident as it’s a single road for both the passers, but drivers are so well experienced that they take you to Vaishnodevi safely, with fingers crossed!! All the facilities, be it hotels, restaurants, everything is available there for your comfort and safety.
An Excellent Trekking Experience
You need to get to the top of the mountain in order to reach the Vaishno Devi. You can take helicopters for an easy and fast journey, or a mule (khachar) to get to the top. The helicopters can be booked online on the official site of Vaishno Devi shrine board and cost Rs.1039 per person one way, whereas cost of riding mule depends on the season. But believe me, there is nothing much better than to climb it yourself, let your legs do it for you! , and with good speed, you can cover the distance to Bhawan (the Temple is also called Bhawan) in 6 hours. As you start your journey you already begin to feel the ecstasy by the surroundings, and people around you. The melodic lines “Paudi paudi chadte jao, jai mata di kartejao”, sung by the pilgrims, inspires you all the way up.
The Journey Through Road
The first major station on this trip to Shrimata Vaishnodevi is Banganga, situated at 2700 ft above the sea level. Ban means arrow and Ganga is derived from the holy river Ganga. The only best way to start your journey is to take a dip in this river. As you move forward, just 2 km away you will come across Charan Paduka, a place where the Goddess Durga stopped and looked back to check whether Bhairon Nath is still chasing her or not.
After this you reach another milestone called Adhkuwari, where 50% of your journey is completed and people usually rest there to continue their Vaishno Devi trip with the same zest and energy. Shrimata Vaishnodevi has been said to have rested here for 9 months. So after some recreation, you reach a great destination called Himkoti, a breathtaking beauty from where you can view entire valley and after that, you reach to Sanjhichhat, the highest point of this Vaishno Devi trip situated at 6200 ft above the sea level. The next place which you see is Bhairon Ghat, where Maa Durga forgave him and blessed him, but people visit it after visiting Mata Vaishno Devi.
And Finally, you are There!
And then, you go all the way down to your final destination, and seriously, it’s worth it. Everything is well arranged and people go in lines without creating any chaos. An immense rush of joy floods into the body as we see Maa Vaishno Devi in front of us. It’s a feeling which can only be felt!! As you go back, you don’t take back memories, you take back moments. You can visit there any time but it’s better to avoid winter because the path may be obstructed due to snow fall. The joy is indispensable and great. Well, if you haven’t planned a Vaishno Devi trip yet, then go pack your bags, because it’s literally a heaven on earth!