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My wish to visit Vaishno Devi Shrine in future

It had been 18 years since I visited the Holy Vaishno Devi Shrine in India. This shrine is not only popular among people in India, but also among devotees worldwide. True devotees always wish to just have a glance of the shrine, but only a few lucky ones can ever make it. The distance from the base to the Shrine is 14 km, and one has to conquer a mountain before reaching the sacred cave. Vaishno Devi is the most admired pilgrimage by Hindu devotees. It is said that one can only visit the shrine when the Goddess sends an invite. You might believe it or not, but it's actually true. I can say this from my real experience.

On your next trip to India if youre planning to visit Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine, there are many ways to get there;

  1. By Train;One can also reach Katra by rail. Jammu/Katra is connected to other parts of country on broad gauge and numerous passenger trains ply from various parts of the country. In the peak season of summer and other holidays, the Railways introduce special trains for the comfort of the Yatris. Many super-fast trains also ply on this route and one can reach Jammu/Katra overnight from New Delhi.
  2. By Air;Located at a distance of 50 kilometres, the Jammu airport is the nearest to Katra. Jammu is well-connected with major airports in India. Its easy to get a cab from the Jammu airport to Katra as regular taxi and cab services are available.
  3. By Road;Jammu is well connected through road also to rest of India. National Highway No. 1A passes through Jammu towards Srinagar. Regular bus services from all major North Indian cities are available for Jammu as well as Katra. Many standard and deluxe buses of various State Road Transport Corporations as well as private operators connect Jammu with important cities and towns of North India.

Picture Courtesy:Google. This is how it looks from the base in Katra. If you have ever been to Jebel Hafeet in UAE, you will find the ladder of bulbs glowing like this, very eye pleasing sight indeed.

Picture Courtesy; Google

The consecrated place of pilgrimage of Mata Vaishno Devi is positioned at a height of approximately 5200 feet. Visiting the place of worship by helicopter is a time-saving and convenient option. The helicopter service is available from Katra to Sanjichhat. However, the real experience is walking with groups chanting the Goddess's name. There are horse rides and palanquins available for those who cannot climb much and need help, such as small children and the elderly. There are also wooden sticks available for rent that can provide support while walking.

In my college years, there was a road trip organized by a group in my hometown in India. My father booked two seats for my mother and himself. The schedule was to visit nine big destinations of Goddess Durga. The travel included a road trip from Dehradun to Saharanpur, Chandigarh, Dharamshala, Amritsar, Katra, and Vaishno Devi. These destinations are home to revered shrines that hold much religious importance and are visited by devotees from all across the world. We even had the opportunity to visit another Holy place, the Golden Temple in Amritsar, a very popular pilgrimage for Sikhs in Punjab. I was truly blessed to have visited so many places in just one single trip.


Golden Temple, Amritsar. Picture Courtesy-Google,We had an opportunity to visit another Holy place, a very popular pilgrimage for Sikhs in Punjab. I was truly blessed have visited so many places in just one single trip.

Nine forms of Goddess Durga is believed to be located around the Northern part of India and are Shakumbhari Devi, Mansa Devi, Kangra Devi, Naina Devi, Chintapurni Mata, Sheetla Devi, Chamunda Devi, Jwalaji and Vaishno Devi. My mom was worried leaving us alone behind though my Grand-father also stayed with us. Finally she decided not to go on that trip and stayed back at home and I was sent along with dad, this was just finalized a day before the trip. I couldnt believe my fortune as I was dying to visit the biggest Shrine of all, Mata Vaishno Devi. Those 8 days were amazing, if I close my eyes, the movie will just run as flashback in my mind,everything that we did and places we visited during our trip. Lucky me, I was on the ninth cloud!!! October 25, 1998, I can never ever forget this date.

The magnificent landscapes of Himanchal Pradesh beat the sceneries of Switzerland at times. I remember the Bhakhra Nangal Dam looked terrific from Naina Devi temple. Alas! We didnt have the camera to capture the moment but the sight is still fresh in my sub-conscious. Im sure Google can help me find at least one picture to show you all how it looked. My journey on the road with my father was tremendous and Id definitely want to do it once again with my family. I believed, I had an invite from the Goddess herself to come and visit her, thats why it was planned all of sudden.

Picture Courtesy; Rahul Koundal, taken from Google

We planned to go again after my wedding but due to some terrorist activities in the area, we were not allowed by the family. We moved to Africa immediately after that, miles and oceans away from India and coming back to India often wasnt possible.

When our son was 2 years old, we planned a visit again and booked our tickets and travel registrations to visit the Shrine, everything was done online and I was super excited but all of a sudden my son got high fever that wouldn't come down. We waited till the very last evening before our departure but his fever was still too high, hence we had to cancel the trip. I had to explain myself, it wasnt my turn yet. There are people who return back to the country every year to get the glimpse of the Shrine. It has been 18 long years since I have been there and Im still waiting for my invitation which I believe will come soon,

My sister visited the Shrine recently along with her husband and both set of parents. Sitting here in Canada, as far away by land and oceans, Im just hoping my number will be called soon !!!!!!

Jai Mata di..