Vaishno Devi is one of the most revered pilgrimage centers of the Hindus. It is believed that no prayer goes unanswered at Vaishno Devi. The holy shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi is perched on top of the beautiful Trikuta Hills at an altitude of 1,700 m in Jammu. The shrine is in the form of a cave dedicated to Vaishno Devi, the mother goddess.
Vaishno Devi is located near the Katra town, which is the last place up to which the modern transport can go. Katra serves as the base for the pilgrimage to the holy shrine. The shrine is located around 12 km from this base and can be reached either on foot, horses/ponies or on palanquins. However, most of the devotees go on foot.
The Vaisno Devi temple is visited by millions of devotees from far and wide every year. A distance of one km from Katra brings the devotees to the halt known as Banganga, where the Mother Goddess is believed to have stopped to drink water. As you move further covering a distance of 6 km from Banganga, you will reach the cave of Ardhkunwari. It is believed that the goddess meditated here for nine months.
For embarking on the path leading to the main shrine, devotees need to get a Yatra slip issued by the Shrine Board at Katra. The slip is free of charge. Keep the slip with you because when you reach the Bhawan, just below the shrine, you are asked to show the slip.