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| Last Updated:: 14/09/2023

Vaishno Devi Shrine





Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine is one of the oldest shrines of India, located at a height of 5300 feet on the holy Trikuta Hills of the Shivalik Hill Range. The Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine is one of the most popular Shrines of India. 







The Goddess Mata Vaishno Devi's abode is in 100 feet long cave with a narrow opening. The holy cold and crystal clear water washes the lotus feet of the Mata's "Pindian". There are three natural pindies representing Maha Sarswati, Maha Lakshmi, Maha Kali, which represent creative, preservative, and destructive aspects of the Super Power. It is an ancient shrine whose reference is found in the Vedas and ancient scriptures.











There are many legends associated with the origin of this temple. According to Mahabharata, Arjun, the third Pandava, meditated and prayed to the Goddess to seek her blessing for victory in the Kurukshetra Battle. It is believed that the place "Jamboo" referred in Mahabharata denotes the current-day Jammu where this temple is situated. The Pandavas are then said to have made this temple as a token of reverence and gratitude for her blessing due to which they emerged victorious in the Battle of Kurukshetra.


The second legend is associated with Lord Shiva's first wife Sati, who, unable to bear the insults that her father, Daksha, called to Lord Shiva, immolated herself in grief. It is said that on intimation of Sati's (or Gauri's) immolation, Lord Shiva went crazy with rage and carried her charred body, on his shoulders, around the world. It is believed that Sati's body parts fell in over 51 places on earth and each of these places became a Shakti Peetha (or Source of Power). Vaishno Devi is the temple dedicated to the most important Shakti Peetha as this is where Sati's head is said to have fallen.




The discovery of this cave takes us to another interesting story. This cave is believed to be discovered 700 years ago by a Pandit called Shridhar, who was a staunch devotee of Goddess Shakti (meaning Power, a common name for all Hindu Goddesses). It is said that Vaishnavi (or Mata Vaishno Devi) appeared to Sridhar in his dream and asked him to arrange a Bhandara (distribution of food) at his place. Perplexed at the lack of provisions and place for the invitees, Shridhar was assured by the Goddess that everything would be taken care of. And true to her word, Mata Vaishno Devi made sure that everybody had their choice of food. Later, Vaishno Devi reappeared in Shridhar's dream and gave him direction to her temple in the caves. Thus, Pandit Shridhar discovered the holy cave and spread the glory of Mata Vaishno Devi to the rest of the world.



Another legend goes that as Mata Vaishno Devi, after providing for the Bhandara at Pandit Shridhar's hut, was returning to her caves when Bhairav Nath, one of the invitees, followed her to see where she gets her powers from. He pursued Mata for nine months after which she appeared to him in her Goddess form. Bhairav Nath immediately attacked Mata in an attempt to gain salvation by dying at her hands and Mata immediately beheaded him. Bhairav, whose head fell about 8 km downhill from Mata's temple, begged for forgiveness from Mata who then gave him a boon that his temple would be created where the head has fallen. She also declared that the pilgrimage of Vaishno Devi will not be considered complete if the devotees do not visit Bhairav's temple after visiting Devi's temple.