The abode of the Goddess Vaishno Devi is in the Moutains of Trikuta Hills, in the Jammu and Kashmir State of Northern India. The Goddess resides in a beautiful cave in the form of 3 'Pindis' namely, “Maha Kali”, “Maha Laxmi” and “Maha Sarawati”. The Goddess Durga is said to have killed the demon Bhairon here. Vaishno Devi is 61-km north of Jammu and 14-km from Katra. The cave is at an elevation of 1,700m (5,100ft) and is 30m (93 ft) long and just 1.5m (5ft) high.
Vaishno Devi is a hard four-hour (13-km) climb from Katra. The best time to come is March to July, as th rest of the time of the year it can be very cold. The main pilgrimage time is March-April and September-October. In 1986, 1.6 million people came here, or 15 to 20 thousand people a day. The cave ideally handles just 8 or 10 thousand people a day, as only 12 or 15 people are let into the cave at a time. On the full moon day in Kartika (October/ November) the line to get into the cave can be 4-km long. It is believed that the arm of Goddess Sati fell at this place.
Shrines at Vaishno Devi
Ban Ganga Temple
Charan Paduka Temple
The Bhairon (Bhairav) Temple
How to Reach
The nearest airport is in Jammu, which is 48-km from Katra. There is a helicopter service that departs from the airport at Sanjhi Chat in Jammu in the morning.
The nearest railway station is in Jammu, which is well connected to all the major cities in India.
There are regular buses leaving for the 52-km trip from the central bus stand in Jammu to where the road ends at Katra (2 hr). Walking From Katra it is a steep 13-km walk. You can rent a horse or be carried up from Katra. You can go up to the cave and back in the same day. It takes about 4 hours to climb up and 3 hours to come down. Pilgrims must get a Yatra- Slip from the tourist reception center near the bus stand in Katra to get pass Ban Ganga. It is Hard climb to Vaishno Devi.