Vaishno Devi, also known as Mata Rani and Vaishnavi, is a manifestation of the Mother Goddess or Durga. The words “maa” and “mata” are commonly used in India for “mother”, and thus are often used in connection with Vaishno Devi.
The words “mandir” and “mandira” are commonly used in India for “Hindu temple”, and so these words are also often used in connection with Vaishno Devi. Vaishno Devi Mandir (Hindi: वैष्णोदेवी मन्दिर) (Punjabi: ਵੈਸ਼ਨੋ ਦੇਵੀ ਮੰਦਰ) is one of the holy Hindu temples dedicated to Shakti, located at the Trikuta Mountains within the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.
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’ (Journey Slip) at Banganga point for darshan, devotees can proceed to the Bhavan.
The way to Bhavan is steep and requires a long walk uphill from Katra. Alternatively ponies and palanquins are also available. Helicopter service can also be taken for a large part of the trip. The Trust offers comfortable stay for pilgrims. Katra is at an altitude of about 2500 feet (about 762 meters); Banganga is at an altitude of about 2800 feet (863 meters); Bhavan is at the altitude of about 6200 feet (about 1900 meters); and, the distance from Katra to Bhavan is about 13 km.
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