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Anchor 1About Katra

Banganga Darbar 

Jai Mata Di

Shri Mata Vaishno Devi 


Mata Vaishno Devi Temple situated in the Trikuta Hills in Katra, Jammu & Kashmir, is one of the most visited Hindu pilgrimage sites in India. Devotees from all over the world come to visit this temple and take the blessings of Mata Vaishno Devi. It is also considered as one of the most important Shaktipeeths, as it is believed that the skull of Goddess Sati fell here.


A pilgrimage to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji is considered as one of the holiest pilgrimages for Hindus. This temple is popular worldwide as it is believed that “Moonh Maangi Muradein Poori Karne Wali Mata”, the deity here, fulfils whatever her believers wish for. This holy cave is located at an altitude of 5,200 feet and the pilgrims have to undertake a trek of almost 12 km starting from Katra. Upon reaching the Bhawan, pilgrims are blessed with the darshans of the goddess inside the Sanctum Sanctorum, i.e. the Holy Cave. In this cave, the goddess is in the shape of three natural rock formations, also known as “Pindies”. It is important to note here that there are no statues or idols inside the Cave.



History of Vaishno Devi 

Like most old shrines, it is difficult to mention as to when exactly the pilgrimage to this holy shrine started. A geological study of this holy cave has indicated that it is almost a million years old. The first mention of this holy cave is noted in the epic Mahabharata. It was the time when the Pandavas and Kauravas were facing each other in the battlefield of Kurukshetra; upon the advice of Shri Krishna, Arjun meditated there to seek blessings for victory. This is when Arjun addresses the mother goddess as ‘Jambookatak Chityaishu Nityam Sannihitalaye’, which means ‘you who always dwell in the temple on the slope of the mountain in Jamboo’ (it is believed to be referred to as present day Jammu).

It is also believed that the Pandavas were the first to build Kol Kandoli Temple and the main Bhawan as their gratitude to the mother Goddess. Perhaps another reference to this Holy Cave is by Guru Gobind Singh, who is said to have gone there via Purmandal. 

Origin of the Shrine 

Although there are various versions of the origin of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi, it is generally agreed that the discovery of this shrine dates back to almost 700 years. This is according to a widely believed Pandit Shridhar’s story. The story runs as Mata Vaishno Devi herself  had helped to organise a Bhandaara at Pandit Shridhar’s house. As the story progresses, it is believed that Mata left amidst the Bhandara to escape Bhairon Nath. 

The goddess took a halt at Banganga, Charan Paduka, and Adhkwari, and finally reached the cave and Bhairon Nath continuously followed her throughout the journey. 

The goddess was then compelled to kill him and he was beheaded right outside the cave. This head fell with a force at a distant hilltop. He suddenly realised that it was all futile and prayed for forgiveness. Mata Vaishno Devi forgave him and also gave him a blessing that every devotee visiting this cave must also pay a visit for Bhairon’s darshan.

At that moment, Vaishnavi also decided to leave her human form and it is assumed that she immersed herself into the rock. From then onwards, Mata Vaishnavi is present in the cave in the form of a 5 ⅕ feet tall rock with three heads or the “Pindies”. 

The story comes back to Pandit Shridhar, where he fell into unbearable grief and stopped taking food and water and continuously prayed to Mata Vaishno Devi to reappear. It is believed that he had a dream where Mata Vaishnavi specifically told him to search for her at the Holy Cave situated in the middle of Trikuta Mountain and also showed him the way. She also insisted that he break his fast. 

Following that dream, Pandit Shridhar went on to search for the Holy Cave in the mountains and finally found it. Inside the cave, he noticed that there were three rock forms with heads on top of it. 

The verse says at that moment Mata Vaishnavi appeared in front of him in her full glory and also introduced him to those rock structures. These structures are now known as the “Pindies”. 



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Shiv Khori
Reasi Road Sightseening  

 Shivkhori is a famous cave shrine of Hindus devoted to lord Shiva, situated in the Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir.         
In Reasi district, there are many shrines such as Mata Vaishno Devi, Merhada Mata, Baba Dhansar, Siad Baba. Shiv Khori is one of them located in Ransoo a village in the Pouni block in Reasi district, which attracts lakhs of devo
tees annually. Shiv Khori is situated in between the hillocks about 140 km north of Jammu, 120 km from Udhampur and 85 km from Katra.and light vehicles go up to Ransoo, the base camp of pilgrimage. People have to traverse about 3 km on foot on a track recently constructed by the Shiv Khori Shrine Board, Ransoo duly headed by the Divisional Commissioner Jammu as Chairman and District Development Commissioner, Reasi as vice chairman .

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