Temple And Deity
Shri Maa Vaishno Devi Shrine is one of the oldest shrine of India, located at a height of 5300 feet on the holy Trikuta Hills of the Shivalik Hill Range. The Holy cave is 13 Kms from the Base Camp Katra. The Town Katra is 50 Kms away from Jammu and 35 Kms from District HQ Udhampur and is linked by road. The Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine is one of the most popular Shrines of India.
Recognized as one of the Shakti Peethas, Ma Vaishno Devi Temple is situated in the folds of the Trikuta Hill, in Jammu and Kashmir. This abode of Goddess Durga is supposed to be one of the wish fulfilling places, where lakhs of devotees from India and abroad gather for Ma Vaishno Devi's blessings.
Nestled between the folds of the Trikuta Hills, 56 kms. to the north of Jammu, the Shrine of Vaishno Devi Ji has been an abode of worship for the pilgrims since ages. The holy Shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi Ji is unique as it contains the holiest of holy Pindis manifesting Mata in her three forms i.e. Maha Kali, Maha Lakshmi, Maha Saraswati. Each form represents a particular attribute.
MAHA KALI represents Tam Guna, Tam Guna means darkness. In her manifestation of Kali, the goddess inspires her devotees to constantly fight the darkness and never to give up the path of righteousness.
The Total length of the holy cave is about ninety eight feet. The symbols of a large number of Gods and Goddesses of the Hindu Pantheon can be seen in the holy Cave. At the mouth of the original tunnel to the holy cave can be seen the Vakra Tunda Ganesha on the left hand side of the rock face.
The distance from the entry point to the Sher Ka Panja is fifty-nine feet. Thirteen feet beyond this, immediately above the head of the worshipper, is Hood of Shesh Nag which appears as if bearing the weight of the roof of the cave at this point. The length of the cave up to the main hood of Shesh Nag is seventy two feet. Six feet further, on the left hand side, are the images of Shankar and Gouri. Thirteen feet beyond it are located the holy Pindies of "Mata Maha Kali Ji", "Mata Maha Lakshmi Vaishno Devi Ji," and "Mata Maha Saraswati Ji". The length of the Cave up to this point is ninety one feet. To the right of the holy Pindis on the upper side are the depictions of Ganesha, Surya, Chandra and Goddess Annapurna. Slightly behind the holy Pindis, on the right hand side can be seen the symbol of the seated Sinha Raj. A little ahead of it can be seen the full hand of the Goddess raised in the Varad Hast or the boon granting pose. Immediately opposite the Holy Pindis is the natural image of Lord Pashupati Nath. Water gushes out of the base of the holy Pindis and flows out of the holy Cave. It is known as Charan Ganga and this water is collected in small containers by the devotees and taken home. The same water is also channelised to the bathing ghat and the devotees take a bath in this water before they join the queue for Darshan of the holy Pindis.The holy Pindis though depicted in its three manifestations at the upper most part is basically one petrified rock at the bottom which is 5'-6" tall.