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. The temple is near the town of Katra, in Udhampur district in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. It is one of the most revered places of worship in Northern India.
Places of Interest
Shiv Khori is an astonishing natural cave in a hillock in the Reasi tehsil. Situated 100 km from Jammu, this wonderful cave stretches on for approximately one km. The four feet high cave contains a naturally formed lingam of Lord Shiva. The shepherds of the nearby villages discovered the Shivkhori cave about a hundred years ago. The architects of "His Majesty" carved the impressions of Sheshnaag on the ceilings of the cave. In the center of the cave is a hollow that gives an effect like that of Lord Shiva's "Jatta". Also surrounding the Shivalinga are self-made "saligrams". Shiv Khori Festival is organised every year on the eve of Maha Shivratri. Pilgrims throng the holy cave to seek blessings of Lord Shiva on this auspicious day.
About 112 kms from Jammu, the famous hill resort of Patnitop is perched on a beautiful plateau, at an altitude of 2024 m, across which the Jammu-Srinagar highway passes. Enveloped by thickly wooded forests, Patnitop offers beautiful picnic spots, peaceful walks and breathtaking views of the valley of the Chenab basin and the Pir Panjal range beyond. In winter (mid Dec. to mid Feb.), the resort is generally covered with snow, thus providing opportunities for arious winter sports including amateur skiing. With all its beauty at a hill station, it is a charming plateau at 2, 024m. The meadow is surrounded by dense woods and lush greenery of Pines. Tracks lead to pockets where time stands still and calm prevails.
Durga is worshipped in different forms. She is a form of "Shakti". The evolution of Shri Maha Saraswati, Shri Maha Laxmi and Shri Mahakali (the 3 main forms of "Shakti") took place from Shri Brahma, Shri Vishnu and Shri Mahesh respectively. Each of these 3 deities gave rise to 3 more forms and hence in all, these 9 forms together are known as Nav-Durga. Durga Shailputri (Daughter of Mountain) : "Shail" means mountains, "Putri" means daughter, The second Durga Shakti is Brahamcharini, the name of third Shakti is Chandraghanta, Kushmanda With the fourth night begins the worship of Kushmanda, Skanda Mata Fifth name of Durga is "Skanda Mata", Kaalratri is the seventh form of Nav-Durga, the Eighth Durga is "Maha Gauri." , Siddhidatri Ninth Durga is "Siddhidatri".
The temple of Baba Dhansar is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is located at a distance of about 15 km from Katra on way to Salal Dam. Here, a huge spring emerges from the rocks in a thick grove of trees and forms a number of small rapids before flowing into the holy rivulet that merges with the Chenab River. This Temple of Lord Shiva is located at a distance of about 15 Kms from Katra on way to Salal Dam. Here, a huge spring emerges from the rocks in a thick grove of trees and forms a number of small cascading waterfalls before ultimately flowing into the Holy rivulet that merges with the Chenab River. There is a naturally formed Shivling on which droplets of water fall at a constant pace all the year round.