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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Travel experience to Vaishno Devi Temple

We started to Delhi in AP Express. As a part of our tourist package, we visited Chandigadh Gardens, Dharmalasla through Kulu Manali, Tibet Monastry and also Shakti Peeths Brijeswari, Chamundi Maatha, Jwalamukhi. Later we started to Kangda in Jammu. 


Dakshapati decides to do Yagna. He invites all the goddesses except his son-in-law God Parama Shiva. Inspite of her husband's unwillingness Dakshayani attends the Yagna. She faces a great insult. She sacrifices her life by jumping into the Yagnagundam. Knowing this, Shiva takes her wife's dead body on his shoulder and starts doing a violent dance called Tandavam. To stop this, Lord Vishnu uses his Sudarshana Chakram and breaks Dakshayani's body into pieces. All this pieces fell all over India. The places where the pieces of her dead body fell, became Shakti Peeths.

In Kangda, in the place where the ear part of goddess fell, she is worshipped as Brijeswari Maatha, in the place where her tongue part fell, she is worshipped as Jwala Mukhi and the place where her eyes fell, she is worshipped as Naina Devi and at the place of her head part, the goddess is worshipped as Vaishno Devi.

The scenic beauty around the temple will not make you leave that place. It was full of trees and snow. Small water falls are also found here.

On the way to temple

There is a tight security all over Jammu. We can see the alertness and punctuality of the security people working there by their checkings everywhere at various turns and bends along the way.

At night 8'o clock we went to Yatra Nivas. We registered our names. We had our dinner, took rest for 3 hours and woke up early 2AM. We had our bath and started to Vaishno Devi temple by foot. It is 14KM distance. We were initially scared as we thought it would be dark and we had to walk in night both to and fro. But, there were good lightings all the way. All the way, there were many piligrims moving up and down the hill. There were halts to sit for a while on the way. Almost for half a distance, all types of food items and pooja items are available. There were Coffee and Tea stalls maintaned by big companies. Even though the road is good, the mountain is straight upwards. So, we faced a bit difficult to walk. 

People who can't walk can use Horses and Palanquins. Horses cost Rs.800 to 1000 and Palanquins cost Rs.4000. Recently Helicopter facility is also made available. It costs Rs.2000 and easiest way. It takes just 8 minutes. But, you have to reserve it earliar itself. Other wise you have to wait endlessly. Also, Helicopter facility depends on weather conditions. The other persons who came with us, waited at Helipad till the evening for Helicopter as the weather conditions are not good and went back without Maatha's Darshanam. We reached half distance shivering in that cold weather. 

Battery Autos are available from that half, but only for Old age people and Physically Handicapped. It costs Rs.100. Also the coupouns for autos would be given only after 8:30 AM. At every step, security people will be checking you. You have to show your registration slips at every check. We forgot all our pain in walking by Saying Jai Maatha Di. It took more than One and half hour in queue for darshanam. 

In the temple

Police and Defence Security were present all over the temple. Belts, Cameras, Cellphones are strictly prohibited. Free lockers are available for them.

After darshanam, we had to search for food. For only Rs 30, puri and rice is available there. It is surprising to see Dosa, Idly and other South Indian food at that price. From there, we started to Bhairava Nath Temple. It was 3-4 KM distance. We went on horses. Only one way journey costs Rs.150 to 200. It is compulsory that we have to visit this temple. Then only our Darshanam for Vaishno Devi Maatha completes. 

Return from temple

There is another way to directly go down the hill without coming to vaishno devi temple again. It was 5PM by the time we reached foot of hill. We took rest in hotel that night.

Later we visited Golden Temple in Amritsar, Vaga Border, Jalianwala Bagh, Kurukshetra and then went to Delhi.

Begging is strictly prohibited in Vaishno Devi temple. So, you don't find any beggers there. Sounding horn is also not allowed. There is no pollution at all. That was a great experience.

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