India is a land of different religious beliefs. Ever year million of devotees from all around visit different religious destinations to seek healing. Everybody has a different reason but mostly faith and worship.
Most of these places are known as “holy” or “sacred” because throughout the ages people have visited these places and had remarkable or memorable results from their visits.
Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine is situated at a height of 5200 feet above the sea level and the temple is 14 kms from Katra. As per the Mythology Mata Vaishno devi is manifestation of three Hindu Goddess: Mata Mahalakshmi , Mata Mahakali & Mata Saraswati. It is said that who so ever comes here with clear heart get their wishes fulfilled. Also it is considered as one of the most sacred Hindu pilgrimage sites.
Many of my friends & relatives have already visited this sacred place but I have not till now due to many reasons : I thought it was difficult , I am not very religious , who will go with me and many more but this trip was planned abruptly and the tickets were booked.
The Journey: We started from Kalka railway station, train timings are 6:55 pm and we reached Katra railway station by 4:30 am in the morning.
There was no pre hotel booking as we knew hotels are easily available near katra bus stand. You can book a cab or taxi outside the railway station and they will suggest you hotels as per your choice.
We checked in at hotel JIJ at 5:30 am , it was nice budget hotel with basic amenities but the best part was pick and drop service provided by them , also they were very nice and hospitable. We were all ready by 8:00 am to reach Katra Helipad by 8: 30 am. The helicopter ride is for 8 minutes and covers 12 kms , another 2 kms you need to walk to reach the temple.
From here the story took another turn. Our ride was cancelled due to no visibility.
Now either we have to give up or do the 14 kms trek to a height of 5200 ft, total 28 kms on a single day as our train was also on the same day at 9:20 pm. We were brainstorming as we don’t want to go back without Darshan (visiting the holy cave).
So we decided to trek.
It is a difficult trek due to steep elevation but it is said that if MAA ( goddess or mother) calls you , the entire journey can be completed easily and yes we completed our trek to the holy cave , though I have never walked this far in my life till now.
It was amazing experience passing through the clouds , crossing beautiful landscapes and reaching a place full of positive energy. JAI MATA DI
Route: Train from Kalka station (runs on alternate days ) to Katra Station and from there cabs and auto available for Banganga ( trekking point). Buses are also available for karta (Jammu & Kashmir).
Best of luck for your journey….