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Vaishno Devi - India Vacation Packages

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Vaishno Devi - Jai Mata Di !!!

Vaisno Devi Place - Jammu & Kashmir
Area - 37 sq .km
Altitude -5,100 ft
Best Season To Visit - March to July
Local Transport - Small size car, Taxis etc.

Since time immemorial Vaishno Devi, has been one of the most wannabe Hindu pilgrimages of India. Located in the folds of the mighty Tirkuta Hills, it is approached by tourists from all the corners of the globe. It is a cave temple that is considered to be the abode of three major goddesses mainly Laksmi, Kali and Saraswati. Devotees cover a hard four - hour climb from Katra to reach the land where one gets salvation and peace of a lifetime.

History of Vaishno Devi Temple
More than 700 years ago, Vaishno Devi, a devotee of Lord Vishnu, used to pray to Lord Rama and had taken vow of celibacy. One day, Bhairon Nath, a demon-God, saw her and gave chase. The Goddess felt thirsty at Banganga and shot an arrow into the earth from where water gushed out. Charan Paduka, marked by the imprints of her feet, is the place where she rested. She then meditated in the cave at Ardhkanwari. It took Bhairon Nath nine months to locate her. Mata Vaishno Devi then blasted an opening at the other end of the cave. She assumed the form of Maha Kali and cut off Bhairon Nath's head, which fell at the place where the Bhairon Temple is now located.

About Holy Shrine
The holy cave shrine of Vaishno Devi was built by the five Pandavas. The length of the cave is about 98 ft. and one can find the symbols of a large number of gods and goddesses of the Hindu pantheon here. At the mouth of the original tunnel to the holy cave can be seen the symbols of Vakra Tunda Ganesha, Surya Dev and Chandra Dev. There is a lamp here that is always lit. You cannot stand upright rather one has to crawl into the cave through the tunnel. This is the only temple in India where all three goddesses are worshipped in the same place. Before entering the cave, pilgrims must take bath in the water that comes out of the cave.

Climate Of The Holy Land
The climate of the pious Vaishno Devi is pleasant and cool and experiences a subtropical climate. Summers are dry and hot while the winters are cold. Temperatures can soar up to 45 degrees Celsius in summer and dip down to around 4 degrees Celsius in winter.

Hotels in Vaishno Devi
Being one of the greatest pilgrimage spot, there are a number of staying options in Jammu. The facilities in the hotels here are up to the mark, meeting the requisites of every individual. To mention a few are:
Dining Spots
All the hotels in the area have their own restaurants. There are also several dhabas and fast-food joints in and around the area which serve vaishnavi vegetarian food. In addition, the Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board has also put up about 12 Refreshment Units along the Holy Route which sell biscuits, tea, mineral water, cold drinks and other refreshments.

Shopping
The Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board outside the temple sells items like coconuts, prasad, postcards, rings, lockets or images of the Goddess to devotees as offerings. It also sells gold and silver coins which bear the imprint the Holy Pindies on one side and that of Goddess Durga on the other. The Shrine Board also has souvenir shops at Bhawan, Adhkunwari, Sanjichhat, Katra where one can purchase at a fair price, chunris, cholas, saris, shawls which have been offered to the Holy Goddess. These shops also sell audio cassettes, books, CDs and other publications of the Shrine Board. Some shops also sell dry fruits and nuts at cheap rates.

Major Highlights
Harvest festivals in Jammu are celebrated with just as much zest and enthusiasm and draw in more crowds to the region than usual. Every festival becomes a proud showcase of Jammu's rich cultural heritage for the thousands of pilgrims who come to Vaishno Devi every year. The festival of Lohri for example, which heralds the onset of spring has the whole town pulsating to the sound of drumbeats and boys dancing the Chajja in honour of the occasion. There are certain melas and fairs that are the specialities of the place and draws a number of tourists towards it.

Vaishno Devi Map
http://www.maavaishnodevi.org/help_desk_tourist.asp

Vaishno Devi News
http://www.newkerala.com/news4.php?action=fullnews&id=63958

Getting There
Airway - Nearest Airport - Jammu ( 48 km from Katra )
Railway - Nearest Railway Station - Jammu By Rail , Jammu is directly connected to cities like Kolkata, Delhi and Kanyakumari. Besides it is connected with other major cities of the country.
Roadway - Jammu is the terminus of a large number of Inter state bus services.


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