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About Vashno Devi Tourism

This is probably India's most well-known pilgrimage and attracts millions of devotees from all over India. The deep belief in the Mata at Vaishnodevi goes beyond all rational perception. Aged people, youngsters, families and children, all walk up the arduous journey to the shrine, in spite of physical hardship, cold weather and the jostling crowds. The experience at the shrine is said to be so deeply spiritual that worshippers make this journey over and over again many times in their lifetime.

Pilgrims have to arrive at the town of Katra, 50km from Jammu, which is the starting point of the pilgrimage. From here they climb up a paved track - 3 km uphill and then 3 km downhill - to reach the holy cave or Bhavan where the goddesses' idol is housed. There is another original track which is much more steep and difficult. A few pilgrims even opt to climb that, but the majority use the new track. The entire arrangements are organized by the Vaishnodevi Shrine Board and there are ashrams, restrooms, toilets, medical facilities, prasad shops and souvenir shops. An unfortunate, but necessary, recent development is the presence of heavy security along the entire way due to the terrorism problem. But of course it is re-assuring to have the armed guards, who guide and manage much of the pilgrim traffic.

Vashno Devi Sightseeing

 
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