Vaishno Devi is regarded as one of the most visited shrines India has seen. Located in Jammu-Kashmir, it is at an altitude of 5,200 feet. Visited by millions of believers every year, this year you could be some of those millions. Taking the train from New Delhi, you could start off this exciting trip yet a bit challenging because of the high altitude. You can book your train tickets and packages through SelfDriveTrips. Hurry, all you have to do is send your inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org
After an overnight journey to Jammu, you had another 3 hours bus journey that would take you to Katra. There are a number of hotels where you can rent a room overnight before starting your journey to the Bhavan. Being a 12 km hike up the mountain, it might be crucial for visitors to carry light luggage. You didn’t really need to carry much food since there are a number of en-route food stalls at The Bhavan. There are other options available as well; such as a gorgeous Helicopter ride from Katra to the Bhavan, a pony ride and luggage carriers as well.
As you further venture your adventurous hike, you will come to know that there are two ways you can go up. One being the paved path or the other being up the stairs. Now, the stairs are supposed to be a shorter path but steeper and more tough to cross as compared to the paved path. It’s all your choice to either take the challenge of paved path or go faster yet steeper on stairs. You will amazed to know that staircase has total of 529 steps and no midway exit.
After a 7 km hike there is the most recognized cave “Adhkuwari” where Mother Goddess gained all her power and wisdom by meditating for 9 months. Fast forward 5 kms later and you can takea cold water shower and change clothes at the Bhavan. For entry, you have to show your Yatra Registration slip at the Bhavan and then can enter the tunnel for Darshan.
There is one more hike that leads you to the Bhairon Temple at the altitude of 6,600 feet; the highest altitude of this journey. It is said that without Bhairon Darshan, this journey is incomplete. However, this is skipped by some pilgrims due to the steepness of this hike. Never ever forget your camera because you’d want to capture the beauty and keep it with you.
In the end, no matter how grueling and tiresome this journey is, it is worth every minute to say the least. Jai Mata Di!