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Monday, August 2, 2010

Mata Vaishno Devi

Mata Vaishno Devi Temple

Maa Vaishno Devi Amidst snow-capped mountains of the Himalayas and sprawling forests, nestles the shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi. Mata Vaishno Devi Temple is one of the most visited pilgrimage centres in India. It is located on the Trikuta Mountain at a height of 5,300 ft. The Vaishno Devi Mandir is one of the holiest Hindu temples dedicated to Shakti, located in the hill 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.The shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi witnesses thousands of devotees arrive all through the year irrespective of the difficulties faced by them. The Yatra begins at Katra and pilgrims have to cover 13 km. of terrain on foot to reach the Darbar. Popular belief holds that anybody who walks the Himalayan trail to the shrine rarely goes back disappointed. A super natural power seems to draw them through the mountain and they climb up those great heights step by step.

Pawan Hans Heli-pilgrimage Service

This is where Pawan Hans steps in to make your journey to the holy shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi a comfortable journey and it also gives you more time to spend at the shrine for the darshan.

With the growing number of devotees visiting the shrine each year, Pawan Hans has scheduled daily flights from Katra to Sanjhi Chhat and back to Katra. The helicopter journey from Katra drops the yatris right next to the shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi. Pawan Hans also makes way for priority darshan for those who avail the heli-pilgrimage services.

Pawan Hans has allotted two of its 6 seater helicopters for the yatris to undertake this journey to Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine. PHHL not only provides the ease to reach the holy shrine within minutes, but has also been instrumental in bringing down the ticket cost from Rs. 4000 to Rs. 2700 for a return trip and that too with priority darshan.

About the Shrine

The shrine of Vaishno Devi is dedicated to Vaishno, the manifestation of Goddess Sati. The shrine is the abode to deity Vaishno representing in the configuration of a five and half feet tall rock structure and three ‘Pindis’ or heads. Legend has it that goddess in order to join together with Lord Vishnu to accomplish her destiny was born as Vaishno.

The holy Shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi embodies the ‘Pindis’ depicting Mata in her three forms: Maha Kali, Maha Lakshmi and Maha Saraswati. A unification of these three temperaments form a distinct Sati known as Mata Vaishno Devi.

The temple is near the town of Katra, in Udhampur district in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The shrine is at a distance of approximately 12 kilometres (7.45 miles) from Katra. This cave temple is at a distance of 61 kms from Jammu. Katra, the town at the foot of the Trikuta hills is the base camp for the Vaishno Devi shrine.
Katra is

* 48 km from Jammu
* 650 km from Delhi (via Una)
* 520 km from Udhampur
* 410 km from Chandigarh
* 80 km from Patnitop.

Million of pilgrims visit the temple every year and is the second most visited religious shrine in India, after Tirumala Venkateswara Temple.

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