Location : Hills of Vaishno Devi, Jammu and Kashmir, India
Tourist Attractions : Baba Dhansar Mandir, Bhairon Nath Mandir, Shiv Khori cave,Dera Baba Banda Bahadur,Baba Jitto's Temple Jhiri,Gadhadharji Temple
Best Activities : Yoga & Meditation, Rock Climbing ,Dogra Art Museum ,Bahu Fort
Nearby Tourist Destinations : Katra, Banganga , Gangotri,Charanpadhuka ,Adkuwari Sanjichat,Patnitop
The journey to the Holy Shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi is thus an enchanting journey of the places where Mata Vaishnavi had spent some time while observing various spiritual disciplines and penances. The culmination of this journey is at the Holy Cave where She merged Her Human form with the astral form of Her creators, the three Supreme Energies
Major Tourist Attractions
Baba Dhansar Mandir :
Located 11 kilometers (6.8 miles) from Katra, on the Katra-Resai road is the idyllic Baba Dhansar Mandir. A small temple, it is about a kilometer’s walk from the main highway, a trip that is well rewarded by the beautiful view of cool water gushing down from the mountains before it settles into a tranquil pond. The quaint temple and the scenic natural surroundings combine to offer spiritual peace and calm amidst idyllic hills.
Bhairon Nath Mandir:
The Bhairon Temple is located at a distance of 1.42 kilometers from Bhawan. It is situated atop an adjacent hill and again involves a steep climb, which can be undertaken either on foot or on ponies or palanquins. The Bhairon temple is the highest point of the entire climb and is situated at an altitude of 6619 feet. Concrete steps as well as a concrete, paved, lighted track have been built right till the Bhairon temple. The Bhairon track is further connected to Sanjichhat.
Shiv Khori cave :
Shivkhori is a famous cave shrine of Hindus devoted to lord Shiva, situated in district Udhampur of Jammu and Kashmir state in India. In Udhampur district, there are many shrines such as Mata Vaishno Devi, Sudhmahadev, Pingla Mata, Mahamaya Chountra Mata, Merhada Mata, Baba Dhandar, Siad Baba. Shiv Khori is one of them located in village Ransoo of Pouni block in tehsil Reasi of the Udhampur district, which attracts lakhs of devotees in a year. Shiv Khori is situated in between the hillocks about 140 km north of Jammu, 120 km from Udhampur and 80 km from Katra. Buses and light vehicles go up to Ransoo, the base camp of pilgrimage surrounded by lush green mountains. People have to traverse about 3 km track on foot which is recently being constructed by the Shiv Khori Shrine Board
Dera Baba Banda Bahadur:
The 300-year-old Dera Baba Banda Bahadur has a historic Gurdwara which has the samadhi of Banda Bahadur the famous Jathedar appointed by Shri Guru Gobind Singh. It is situated in the Reasi District on the bank of river Chenab, approximately 75 km from Jammu city of Jammu and Kashmir state. Besides the ashes of Banda Bahadur, the Dera has an arrow given to Banda by Guru Gobind Singh and other weapons, including a huge sword, which are all displayed to the delight of the visitors during the mela.
Located at a distance of 18 kilometers from Jammu, Jhiri is a famous place of the martyrdom of Baba Jitto. Pilgrims from distant places come to pay obeisance at this place of worship. It is connected through a link road of 4 kilometers length at a distance of 14 kilometers from Jammu on State Highway leading from Jammu to Akhnoor town. Akhnoor is a historical place situated at a distance of 15 Kms. from Jhiri. A legend links the caves on the left bank of Chenab River near bridge where Pandavs stayed during their exile period for sometime. This route takes one to Shiv Khori, a prominent place of Lord Shiva’s cave shrine. The number of devotees is swelling every year at Jhiri and presently touching about one million numbers who visit during popularly known ‘Jhiri Mela’which falls on Kartik Purnima (the late autumn full moon). This fair is held every year.
Gadhadharji Temple :
Gadhadharji Temple is a welcome experience for the Vaishnavaite, where the life sized image of Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi blesses the devotees.
Ranabireshwar Temple :
Ranabireshwar Temple constructed by the erstwhile Dogra Rulers is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Here the large Shiva Lingam has been brought from Narmada Valley.
How To get There
Train : Jammu is the nearest railhead, which lies on the other side of the Tawi River. Jammu is very well connected with all major destinations in India by rail. Direct express trains link it with Mumbai, Delhi and Calcutta.
Road : Vaishno Devi Temple can be reached after making a steep 13-km trek from the road head at Katra, the town at the foot of the Trikuta hills. Several porters and ponies are available at Katra on hire.
Air : Jammu is the nearest airport. Jammu's civil airport at Ranibagh is 9 km from the city center. Alliance Air, a subsidiary of Indian Airlines, runs flights to and from Delhi, Srinagar and Leh.
For the convenience of the Yatries, a number of halls have been provided at at Adhkuwari, Sanjichhat & Bhawan. Pilgrims can take rest here while waiting for their turn for the Darshans of the Holy Goddess or before proceeding further. These halls are available free of cost but their availability is on a first come first served basis. Pilgrims can also spend the night in these halls. Toilet facilities have been made available here.