Indian Spiritual tradition has propounded four Purusharth
(objectives) of a human life. These being Dharm (Righteousness),
Arth (Material Pursuits), Kaam (Contentment) and Moksh
(Enlightenment). Shri Mata Vaishno Devi is believed to grant all the
four boons to those who visit Her Holy Shrine. She is considered to
fulfill anything and everything that a person wishes for in life, in
a righteous way. It is an experience of all, that no one goes empty
handed from Her Great Pilgrimage.
Location: 61 kms km from Jammu
Places to Visit: Mata Vaishno Devi shrine (Katra) The nearest Railway Station and Airport are at Jammu, at a distance of 50 Kms from Base camp Katra. A regular bus services are plying from Railway Station, Air port and General Bus Stand Jammu to Katra. Also number of Taxies, Tourist vans, Deluxe Busses is available at these places. However number of inter state busses are available for Katra from almost all the major cities of North India.
The Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine is linked to the Base Camp Katra with a 13 Kms track. The entire uphill Journey from Katra to Bhawan is on foot; however, one can hire ponies, palkies or pithoo for ease of journey. Recently Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board has started the air taxi services between Jammu, Katra and Sanjichat at the normal rates.
Mata Vaishno Devi shrine is located near the Katra district at a height of 5200 ft. The Devi resides inside a cave on Trikuta, a three-peaked mountain. After reaching Katra, one has to undertake a trek of approximately 12 km to reach the cave of Mata Vaishno Devi. After the trek is over, the yatris (devotees) are blessed with the Darshan (a view) of the goddess inside her holy cave. The cave does not contain any statues or photos. The cave houses three natural rock formations, called the Pindies that represent the three goddesses. The pindi in the middle represents Laxmi Mata, on the right is Kali Mata and on the left is Saraswati Mata. Vaishnodevi pilgrimage tour is considered to be one of the holiest pilgrimages in India.