Located in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, Vaishno Devi serves as one of the most important religious sites for the Hindus. It houses the temple to the Hindu Goddess Vaishno Devi who is also known by some other names likes Vaishnavi and Mata Rani. The rich architectural splendor, the surrounding beauty of the Himalayan region, and the religious attraction make this a popular tourist attraction in the country.
According to Hindu mythology, during the Treta Yuga, the Earth was ruled by the tyrannical demons and it was then that Goddess Vaishnavi was created to remedy the world of its troubles. Since then, she stayed back in the world to keep it safe from evil and it is said that she is waiting for the promised marriage to Lord Vishnu during his tenth incarnation in the Kaliyuga.
Things to do and Major Attractions:
There are plenty of places to visit in Vaishno Devi. One of the first and foremost attractions of the place is, of course, the Vaishno Devi Temple located on the Trikuta Mountains. The region attracts millions of devotees every year and is one of the major highlights of Vaishno Devi tourism. The Ardh Kuwari Cave is the cave where it the Goddess is said to have meditated for nine months before settling in the temple.
The Bhairavnath Temple is another major landmark in this region and dedicated to a saint, this temple also sees a decent footfall of the tourists. Dera Baba Banda is an ancient Guruduwara that you can check out while you are here. Also popular among the tourist places around Vaishno Devi is the Katara town. This is particularly of significance for the devotees of Lord Shiva.
People and Culture:
The major festivals in this region include the Durga Puja and Diwali. The Navratri is also celebrated with great enthusiasm. The locals are friendly and this is regarded as a safe place for the tourist.
Local Food and Popular Shopping Items:
The traditional North Indian delicacies are the specialties of this region. These include the likes of Rajma and rice, Kultheindi di Dal Aria, Kalaadi, and chocolate barfi. Pooja Vaishno Dhaba, Sagar Ratna, Punjabi Haveli, etc. are among the notable eateries around here.
For those who are looking to do some shopping during your visit, places like Adhkuwari, Katra, and Sanjichhat await you. Embroidered fabrics and Kashmiri motifs are the famous items to pick from this place. Tourists are also known to buy a lot of quality dry fruits from this region.
Best Time to Visit:
While the pilgrimage site is open all through the year, ideally you should plan your trip during March to October. The weather is pleasant during this time and it ensures a comfortable journey.
Availability of Accommodation Type:
There are some of the finest hotels near the Vaishno Devi Temple that offer a comfortable stay during your visit. Some of the popular ones include K.C Residency, Lords Inn Jammu, Ramada by Wyndham, and many others that also some cheaper options for those looking for an economical stay.