Editing by- Jitendra Kumar Jitu.

Script & Voice- Anju Paudel.

/>Vaishno Devi Mandir is one of the holy Hindu temples dedicated to Shakti, located in the hills of Vaishno Devi,Jammu and Kashmir, India. In Hinduism, Vaishno Devi, also known as Mata Rani and Vaishnavi, is a manifestation of the Mother Goddess.
Vaishno Devi Temple is near the town of Katra, Jammu and Kashmir; in the Reasi district in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. It is one of the most venerate places of worship in India. The shrine is at an altitude of 5300 feet and a distance of approximately 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) from Katra. Every year approximately 8 million yatris visit the temple and it is the second most visited religious shrine in India, after Tirumala Venkateswara Temple.
According to geological studies the vaishno devi cave is million years old. Rig veda mentioned the trikuta but has no reference of worship of shakti. The Hindu tradition believe this shrine to be holiest of all since the skull of Shakti fell here. It is believed that Mata Shakti right arm had fallen here. Inside the holy cave there is the remains of a stone hand called Varad Hast.
Regarding shrine there are different stories. But the most significant is of right hand of Shakti.
Best time to visit Vaishno Devi
Vaishno Devi shrine can be visited all the year round but the best month to travel is from March to October.
• Winter October to February) snowfall is common.
• Summer (March to July) are cool and pleasant and most of the pilgrims visit the Vaishno Devi during this period.
• Monsoon (August to September) received medium to heavy rainfall and it is not the good to go the shrine as mud slides are common.

Maa Vaishno Devi temple can be reached from Katra. Katra is a small but bustling town around 45 km. from Jammu. From Katra, after getting the ‘Yatra Parchi’ for darshan, devotees can proceed to the Bhavan.
The way to Bhavan is steep and requires a long walk uphill. Alternatively ponies and palki are also available. Helicopter service can also be taken for a large part of the trip. The Trust offers comfortable stay for pilgrims.
Indian Railways will start rail services up to Katra from July 1st 2013.

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