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Tourist Places To Visit In Vaishno Devi
Located in Katra in Jammu & Kashmir is the holy pilgrimage site of Vaishno Devi. One of the 108 Shakti Peethas in the country, millions of people come to pay their homage to the reigning deity here. Set amidst the stunning landscape surrounded by mountains, this holy site has become a popular tourist destination. Blessed with good connectivity people make their way here not only to catch a glimpse of the Mata but also to enjoy nature in its pure form. Apart from the temple there are a few other places in Vaishno Devi that tourists could explore.
Vaishno Devi Temple
The primary attraction here is undoubtedly the Holy Cave where the Mata resides. Every year hundreds and thousands of pilgrims make their way up the mountains chanting the name of the glorious Mother. The Mata Rani is extremely revered among the Hindus and they believe that the Mata herself calls her devotees to come to her. The darshan is a captivating experience which wipes out all the exhaustion of the tough 13 km trek up from Katra. From here devotees are also treated to a magnificent view of the Himalayas.
Ardh Kuwari Cave
This is a cave which devotees come across en route to their destination. It is believed that before making the Holy Cave her abode, the Mata stopped and rested in this cave for 9 months. Here tourists crawl through the cave to reach the other side where there is a shrine with deities of three Goddesses namely, Laxmi, Sarawasti and Kali. People rest here for some time before moving on.
Bhairavnath is an extremely popular temple here and no trip to Mata’s Bhavan is believed to be complete without a visit to this temple. Dedicated to Saint Bhairavnath, the temple is a 2 km trek from the Bhavan. You can either walk the distance or avail the services of ponies for to and fro transfer. From here the tourists can catch a fascinating view of the forest fed mountains.
Charan Paduka Temple
This is a famous temple en route up to the Holy Cave. According to legend, Goddess Durga had stopped here to rest when she was pursued by Bhairavnath. She kept her foot here first, before moving up to the place she made her abode.
This holy site is just 3 km from Katra. As per legend, Goddess Durga was on her way to the Trikutta Hills when she made a stop here. She found Langoor Vir extremely thirsty. To quench his thirst, she shot an arrow to a stone and out flowed a spring which is now famous as Banganga.
This is a stream of water which flows from Mata’s feet inside the cave. This water is also made to flow into the bathing ghat within the complex where people take a holy dip before going for the ‘darshan’ of the Mata. This water, popularly referred to as ‘Charanamrit’ is considered extremely scared. People often fill them into bottles to carry back home. This is used for purification of homes.