Vaishno Devi Temple
Vaishno Devi is a Hindu pilgrimage place in India. Vaishno Devi is a form of Hindu mother goddess. Trikuta, Mata Rani, Ambe, and Vaishnavi are some of the other names for Vaishno Devi. The Vaishno Devi cave temple is located in the trikuta hills. The Trikuta hills are in Katra of Jammu and Kashmir. This holy site is regarded as the most important Shaktipeeth. The goddess has manifested herself as Holy Pindies inside the holy cave. The three pindies are inside the cave one pind of Maha Kali, one pind of Maha Lakshmi, and one pind of Mata Saraswati.
Over ten million devotees visit Vaishno Devi every year. Devotees go barefoot or crawl all the way up to seek the Goddess' grace and express appreciation for their wishes being granted. Vaishno Devi is supposed to give strength to the weak, eyesight to the blind, money to the needy, and children to childless couples. That's why the devotees visit the Vaishno Devi temple regularly. Visiting Mata Vaishno Devi's cave shrines during Navaratri is the most fortunate period.
Mythology of Mata Vaishno Devi temple
According to tradition, the goddess was busy killing the Asuras. One day Mata Maha Kali, Mata Maha Lakshmi, and Mata Maha Saraswati, her three main manifestations, joined together and combined their entire spiritual strength. A tremendously bright light shone from the point where the three manifestations' spiritual strength merged, and a beautiful young girl appeared from this spiritual strength. This girl's name is Vaishnavi, and she was created with the purpose of dwelling on earth and devoting her life to maintaining morality.
There are several traditions surrounding the creation of the Mata Vaishno Devi temple. However, the myth of Pandit appears to be the most suitable. According to legend, Pandit Sridhar was a poor sage who had a sight of Vaishno Devi leading him to the shrine. According to geological research, the cave is a million years old. It is claimed about this isolated cave that Vaishno Devi hid from Bhairon Nath for 9 months. The goddess is claimed to have positioned herself in the same way that an unborn child is positioned in their mother's womb. That's why the Garbhjun is another name for this cave.
Facilities provided by temple authority
1. Rented Accommodations:
At Bhawan, the temple authority has offered a variety of facilities for the devotees to make darshans more comfortable. At the Gauri Bhawan building, main Bhawan building, and Vaishnavi Bhawan building, the self-contained and equipped rooms are available for devotees on a rent basis. Hostel facility is also available in the Manokamna Bhawan area.
2. Bhojanalyas & Refreshment Units:
The temple authority has constructed refreshment units for the devotees on the way to the Vaishno Devi cave. Almost every refreshment unit is situated in a well-chosen location with a spectacular view of the valley. There are 12 refreshment units 9 of these are located on the old path, and 3 refreshment units are located on the path leading to Bhawan.
Meals, bread, and buns are served at the larger refreshment units, and smaller refreshment units simply offer only pre-packaged food and beverages.
The temple authority also provides full-fledged bhojanalyas to offer devotees with nutritious and healthy food. There are 5 bhojanalayas provided by the temple authority. One bhojanalay is in Adkuwari, one bhojanalay is in Sanjichhat and other 3 bhojanalay is in the main bhawan. The food items available in the bhojanalay are curd, dal, cheese-tomato, rajma, mixed vegetables, sambar vada, plain rice, kadi pakora rice, dal rice, tandoori chapati, and Dahi vada.
3. Medical Facilities:
Although no special medical certification is required to undertake the yatra, people suffering from heart, respiratory, or other such problems are advised to participate in the yatra only after a proper medical examination and guidance.
The rigorous climb exacerbates cardiac, asthmatic, and orthopedic disorders. In any situation, these patients are strongly advised to avoid taking the stairs. The block hospital is available at Katra to complete the medical requirements of visitors, and the charitable dispensary runs 24 hours under the temple authority.
4. Blanket Stores:
Even in summer, the climate here remains cool at night. The temple authority has provided free blanket distribution centers at various places. The money is taken from the devotees is nominal and refundable. This money is given again to the devotees on returning the blanket to the center.
5. Bhaint Shops:
Bhaints are the name of traditional contributions. The devotees offer the fullian, dry fruits, mouli, makhana, prasad, chunni, coconut, silver or gold ornaments, and pooja samagri to Mata rani. All these things are available at Bhaint shops, so devotees buy items from the shop and offer them to Mata Rani. These items are packed in eco-friendly jute bags.
6. Palkis, Ponis, and Pithoos:
Walking 12-13 kilometers can be difficult and exhausting for people who are not used to it still; many devotees complete this route by walking. There are many devotees who are not able to walk due to their age or health problem, or physical challenges. These people refer to the ponies and palanquins for covering this distance.
7. Shelter Sheds:
Shelter sheds have been built by the temple authority at different points along the route. These shelter sheds are important in protecting visiting worshippers from rain, shooting stones, heat, snow, and other inclement weather. The comfortable seating facilities offered beneath the shelters encourage worshippers to take a break, and vishram sthals is another name for them. Near the majority of the shelter, refreshment units and toilets have been provided. Around the 70 shelter shades are constructed in the 4 km length.
All these facilities are provided by the temple authority to the visitors.
The Bhairon shrine is 3 kilometers away from the main Bhawan. After visiting Mata Vaishno Devi cave, tourists travel to the next holy venue that is Bhairon shrine. It is believed that Vaishno Devi's yatra is not completed without visiting the Bhairon shrine. At the Bhairon temple, havan kund is a popular attraction.
The mythology of Bhairon temple
According to legend, the severed head of Bhairon Nath was thrown at a neighboring hill to Trikuta. Bhairon recognized his mistake while dying and requested Vaishno Devi for pardon. The Devi forgives the Bhairon, and she also grants him the blessing of being worshipped by worshippers who will come to the Vaishno Devi cave to obtain her blessings.