Vaishno Devi – One of the holiest pilgrimages of our times

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Exploring the less heard episodes of Vaishno Devi

Located in the picturesque Trikuta hills of Jammu, Vaishno Devi is amongst the most visited and revered pilgrimage places for Hindus. The cave temple dedicated to Goddess Shakti or Parvati, is believed to be home of thirty-three Hindu deities. Throughout the year this extremely sacred temple is flooded by large number of pilgrims from all over the country. It is believed that even a glimpse of the idol of Vaishno Devi is enough to free any person of all sins.

Here, we are telling some interesting facts about Vaishno Devi that will surely kindle your desire to visit this consecrated and intriguing shrine.

The Three Caves

The original cave leading to the main shrine of Vaishno Devi remains closed most of the year as it is too narrow and long to conveniently pass through for a pilgrim. The two caves that now take to the main sanctum of the temple are man-made and were constructed in order to minimise the rush of the eagerly waiting pilgrims.

Unknown existence of the temple

The origin and existence of the temple is shrouded in complete mystery. Nobody knows that how the episode behind the existence of these caves.

Call from the Deity

Have you ever thought the reason behind the coining of the phrase – “Chalo bulawa aya hai, Mata ne bulaya hai”. It is due to the strong belief that you cannot make a plan to visit the holy shrine of Vaishno Devi until and unless Mata wants you to come. If there is a call from the Goddess, you have to visit the Mata at her shrine, even if you had not planned for it.

Million Years Old

Many researches and geological studies suggest that the holy caves are a million years old. The earliest reference of this cave is found in the RigVeda scripture of Hindu where it is mentioned as a mountain deity named Tikuta.

Location

The Vaishno Devi Temple is located 13 Km from Katra, in the Reasi district. The shrine is situated at a height of 5300 ft. above the sea level on the Trikuta Mountain.

The Mountain was split for the new route

For hundreds of years, pilgrims would have to take rocky path to reach the main shrine of the temple. In the early 1900s it was felt that this route is not wide enough to give way to numerous flocks of pilgrims. Hence, in order to make more space, the route to the mountain was split in half to build a new road at Ardh Kuwari (the halfway point).

The highest point of Vaishno Devi

The highest point of Vaishno Devi is situated at 6218 ft. and known as Bhawan. The devotees need an extra six km trek to reach ‘Bhawan’.

Growing visitors

Boomed from a number of around 14 lakhs visitors in 1986 to 10.4 million in 2012, the statistics shows a continuous rise in the number of the pilgrims visiting the holy place.

Shrine Board Coins

For years, Vaishno Devi Shrine Board has been offering stamped coins to the pilgrims as souvenir. But did you know that now there is a government-authorised Vaishno Devi Shrine Board coin of Rs 5?

Now, tell us how many of these facts were known to you?