Did you know that the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi shrine is flocked by millions of pilgrims every year! No wonder it is among the most well-known pilgrimage sites in India.
It is among 108 Shakti Peethas and Maa Vaishno Devi Yatra and is considered the holiest sojourn.
Perched at an altitude of 5200 feet above sea level, the holy shrine is tucked in a three-peaked mountain named Trikuta Hills.
Mata Vaishno Devi is considered the incarnation of Goddess Durga and is believed to reside inside a cave.
Three naturally formed rocks are inside the cave, known as Pindis, and are believed to be the manifestation of three Goddesses: Maha Kali, Maha Lakshmi, and Maha Saraswati.
Devotees have to undertake a trek of 12 km to reach the holy cave. Katra is the base camp of the trek, and the registration of Yatra is mandatory, which is free of cost. The registration can be done in two modes – online and offline.
The offline counter is at the main market in Katra. For online registration, devotees can register themselves on the official website of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board. In case of online registration, carry a printout of the Yatra Access Slip.
Pilgrims can take a pedestrian way or stairs to the holy cave. The other ways to reach the temple are by ponies/ horses, palki/ palanquin, or avail helicopter services.