Vaishno Devi: Mata Rani



The Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, at the foot of the Himalayas, Ladakh and the western end of the imposing mountain range, offering a wide choice of itineraries. Among the most interesting excursions, those at the spa Batote on a hill along the road between Jammu and Srinagar, Mansar lake for boating, the wall paintings of Pahari Ramnagar, and the Vaishno Devi temple, carved into the rock.


India is so big that you can not discover it in a few days and with only one trip and this is now clear to all. If during one of your many tour, want to get closer to a particular area, you can reach up to Jammu a part of the state of Jammu & Kashmir. It is located in the extreme north of India and is the home of Dogra, the Hindu and Sikh. The area of the Hindu religion, is not missing also host small communities. It become famous in recent times mainly because of its nickname as the City of Temples. The tourists, in fact, love to visit the most important centers of Hindu devotion, like the Raghunath temple dedicated to Rama temple or the cave of Vaishno Devi. In this case you arrive after quite a long time, but who cares visitors are devotees.

In Jammu you will find some important centers of Hindu devotion, as the temple of Raghunath, dedicated to Rama temple or the cave of Vaishno Devi, which is reached after a long distance walking route by thousands of devotees. But the most famous Hindu shrine of the area is located in the territory of Kashmir itself the cave of Amarnath, where Shiva manifested in the form of huge lingam of ice.

If you go in the middle of the old town, you can see the unique complex in northern India Raghunath Mandir. Around there are many other beautiful temples and, in this case, there are still some peculiarities of a sacred Hindu. We start with the gigantic statues of deities and many lingam, or linga and notable fountains around the Bahu fort.

Inside the walls of the fortress that appears on a rock, there is Bawey Wali Mata temple where every Tuesday and Sunday, pilgrims come. Inside the old palace Mubarak Mandi, do not forget to visit the Dogra Art Museum, the Dogra Art Gallery, which exhibits fine collections of paintings and miniatures of the schools of Jammu and Basholi. On the other hand you can instead pillowcases river Tawi and a temple dedicated to Mahamaya. Who has time should arrive at the Museum Amar Singh Palace, with a series of family portraits of the personalities of Jammu and Kashmir, Pahari paintings and miniatures. Jammu is easily reached by plane, train or car.

Many shrines that attract tens of thousands of pilgrims from all over the world. The most famous is surely to Vaishno Devi, but the entire city of Jammu is imbued with an aura of mysticism and in fact is known as the City of Temples. It's other main attraction is the complex of the Raghunath Temple, the most great northern India and 130 years old, devoted to the god Rama. It includes among other things a library with ancient Sanskrit texts.

The festival of Navratri has begun and pilgrims from all over India have been set in motion. More than thirty thousand people on the first day they visited the holy cave of Vaishno Devi in ​​Trikuta Hills in the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir.

You had to get a pass for the Yatra, in order to make your pilgrimage. At first, the route takes you through food stalls and other commercial stalls. But the more you climbed less food stalls there and the air was peaceful. The higher you climb, everything became more strenuous. You had to constantly drink water to not dehydrate, so sweated your way up the mountain, next to hundreds of mules, palanquins and other devotees walk.

Some of that after a while were sold out, they happily accepted the repeated offers of the owners of mules and we have surpassed them happy on the back of a mule and took pictures with their cell phones to those who were walking. After a while you rest, only to find that you had not even made ​​the seventh of the road. At one point, you thought it was very clever to take the stairs that were shortcuts to the normal route. But this proved too difficult, so you embarked on the road to normal again.

Gradually you approach Maa Vaishno Devi, and after 4.5 hours of climbing, you reach her home in the hills. Once there, you had to put your cameras and other items in a cabinet which would not have been allowed for the darshan of Maa. Vaishno Devi is located inside a cave in the mountain. Each time there was a queue of about 3-4 hours for darshan. With the VIP pass usually is able to arrive faster, but the Darshan last a maximum of 10-15 seconds before being pushed away again.

The goddess is present there in the form of three pindis rock formations that look similar to the lingam, in representation of Saraswati, Lakshmi and Kali left to right. After Darshan you sit outside on a deck for some time in meditation, surrounded by mountains. That is a very, very, quiet and serene, and all are good.


National Geographic Photos[vaishnodevi-temple-310_m.jpg]

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