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Vaishno Devi

Vaishno Devi

Altitude:   5,200 ft ( 1,584.96 metres)
Location:  Katra, Jammu & Kashmir Valley
Population:  9008(Census 2011)
Language:  Dogri, Sheena, Urdu, Hindi, English.
Temperature:  Max 45.1 C to Min 27.2 C.
How to spend time/Attractions:   Trekking, Skiing, Long walks, Horse riding, Day Picnic, Photography, Sightseeing, etc.
Best Time to Visit:  June to November
Places of Interest:   Shiv Khori, Baba Dhansar, Baba Agar Jitto, Nav Pindia etc.
The holy cave shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi is located at a height of 5,300 feet in a beautiful recess of the Trikuta Mountains, forming a part of the lower Himalayas in Jammu and Kashmir. The journey here takes you through awesome wilderness amidst snow- capped mountains and sprawling forests, to the shrine, sacred and mystical. Every day of the year scores of devotees ascend steep pathways that cut across the hillside. A common faith among people is that goddess Vaishno Devi sends a 'call' to her devotees; and once heralded, the pilgrim finds himself compelled to march towards the holy shrine of the great goddess. It is believed that a supernatural power seems to draw pilgrims across the mountains, so they climb those great heights, step by step, chanting "prem se bolo, Jai Mata di". Even those who are unused to walking the slightest distances, accomplish the difficult ascent of innumerable stairs. Popular belief holds that anybody who walks the Himalayan trail to Mata Vaishnov Devi's abode to ask for a boon does not return disappointed. There are many who journey here year after year to pay obeisance regardless of their faith, creed or class, caste or religion, because Mata Vaishno Devi transcends all such artificial barriers. Katra, a small town in the foothills of Trikuta, serves as the base camp to the Mata Vaishnodevi Yatris. The shrine is approachable on foot along a 12 km path from Katra. Every year, nearly 6 million pilgrims visit Mata Vaishnodevi. The shrine has been a beacon of faith and fulfillment to millions of devotees. Popular belief holds that anybody who walks the trail to the goddess abode rarely goes back disappointed. The holy shrine contains the holiest of holy Pindis, manifesting the Mata in three forms Maha Kali, Maha Lakshmi and Maha Saraswati representing Creative, Preservative & Destructive aspect of Mata.

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