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Pilgrimages of Jammu & Kashmir - Reasi district

  1. Vaishno Devi (Famous pilgrimage of Devi Vaishnavi)


Vaishno Devi in Trikuta Parvata of Kashmir Himalayas (1500 m):

Devi Vaishnavi - A famous pilgrimage of Devi Vaishnavi in Trikuta Parvata of Kashmir Himalayas: Vaishno Devi (1500 m) is a famous pilgrimage of Devi Vaishnavi in Trikuta Parvata of Kashmir Himalayas. The shrine is inside a cave where there are Three Pindies (Natural Rock formations). According to legend Vaishno Devi originated from the combined powers of the Tridevis - Devi Mahakali, Devi Mahalakshmi and Devi Mahasaraswati. She incarnated as the daughter of Ratnakar for the welfare of the world. She revealed Her Holy Cave to an ardent devotee of Devi named Sridhar Pandit. Vaishno Devi Cave is reached by a trekking route from the base camp at Katra.

- Three Pindies: Devi Vaishnavi manifested as three Pindies (Natural Rock formations) in the cave of the Trikuta Hill. She is worshipped in those three Pindies which represents the three Maha Shaktis.

- Manifestation of Tridevis: According to legend Vaishno Devi is the manifestation of the powers of Devi Mahakali, Devi Mahalakshmi and Devi Mahasaraswati to eradicate the demons and for the welfare of the world.

- Daughter of Ratnakar: She incarnated as the daughter of Ratnakar and later performed penance in the mountains. She met Lord Rama and requested Him to merge Her within Him. But Lord Rama told Her to stay in the world till Kaliyuga for the welfare of the people during which time He will accept Her as Kalki Avatara.

- Devotee Sridhar Pandit: The story of Vaishno Devi is associated with Her ardent devotee named Sridhar Pandit who held a bhandara (feast) in which the Mother supplied all the food. Later Sridhar ardently prayed Mother to give darshan. He left food and water till Mother gave him Her darshan. Devi Vaishnavi revealed Her cave to Sridhar in the Trikuta Hill.

- The Trek: Vaishno Devi Cave is reached by a trekking route from the base camp at Katra. Pilgrims undertake a trek of 12 km to reach the Holy Cave (Bhawan). The trekking route passes through:
  • Darshini Darwaaza (850 m): This is the entry gate to the trek. According to legend Mata Vaishno Devi met Pandit Sridhar at this spot in the form of a small girl during the Bhandara (community feast). Mata eluded Bhairon Nath and started ascending the hill towards the Holy Cave.

  • Ban Ganga (820 m): This is a stream which is believed to have been created by Mata Herself using a Ban (Arrow) on Her way to the Holy Cave. Hence this is called Ban Ganga. After creating this stream, She took a dip in it and washed Her hair.

  • Charan Paduka (1030 m): This is a rock slab with the imprints of feet believed to be that of Mata Herself. According to legend, Mata stopped here for sometime to check whether Bhairon Nath is still chasing Her and left Her footprints here.

  • Adhkuwari (1460 m): Adhkuwari is a small womb-shaped cave halfway between Katra and the main cave. Adhkuwari means "Eternal Virgin". It is believed that Mata performed tapasya in this cave for nine months worshipping Lord Shiva. Hence the cave is also called Garbh Joon or Garbh Yoni. When Bhairon Nath approached this cave while searching for Her, She created an exit at the other end with Her trident and proceeded towards the main cave.

  • Himkoti: This is one of the most beautiful spots on the new track with breathtaking scenic beauty of the entire valley. It is around 2.5 km from Adhkuwari.

  • Sanjhichat (1890 m): This is the highest point on the trekking path with a panoramic view of the valley.

  • The Holy Cave (Bhawan) (1500 m): After leaving Adhkuwari, Mata ascended the hills and reached the Holy Cave. Bhairon Nath also reached there and challenged Her. Vaishno Devi assumed Her Divine Form in this place and beheaded Bhairon Nath with a sword. By the power of the blow of Her sword, the head of Bhairon Nath fell one and a half km away from this cave in the place now known as Bhairon Ghati. When Bhairon Nath finally surrendered to Her before his death, Mata gave a boon to him that the journey to Her shrine will remain incomplete without visiting the temple of Bhairon Nath on the return. The Devi then immersed Herself in meditation and manifested in the form of three Pindies (Natural Rock formations). The Devi revealed the location of this cave to Her ardent devotee Pandit Sridhar for the welfare of all Her devotees. It is believed that Mata personally calls Her devotees in this place (Bulawa) when She wishes them to visit Her.

  • Bhairon Ghati: This is the place where the head of Bhairon Nath fell after Mata Vaishno Devo beheaded him. There is a small temple of Bhairon Nath here which the devotees visit after visiting the shrine of Mata.
- The Vaishno Devi cave shrine is located in the Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir.


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Bharatavarsha - The Land of Gods and Sages:

1. Stotras by Deity:
Initial: Ganesha - Hanuman - Gurudeva - Gayatri
Tridevas: Brahma - (Vishnu - Narasimha - Rama - Krishna) - Shiva
Tridevis: Saraswati - (Lakshmi - Tulasi - Bhoomi) - Parvati
Others: Murugan - Surya - Ganga - Yamuna - Narmada - Others
Final: Vedas - Brahman

2. Pilgrimages by Deity:
Initial: Ganesha
Tridevas: Brahma - (Vishnu - Narasimha - Rama - Krishna) - Shiva
Tridevis: Saraswati - Lakshmi - (Parvati - Shakambari)
Others: Murugan - Ganga

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4. Saints: Ramakrishna - Vivekananda - Ramana - Saints

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6. Puranas: Scriptures

7. Religious Life: Stotras - Puja - Pilgrimages - Festivals - Varnashramas - Samskaras - Traditions

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Last updated on Sep-2017

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