Vaishno Devi occupies a crucial place among all the pilgrimage places of India and is most popular for the holy shrine of Vaishno Devi which is located here. It is a highly revered shrine located at a height of more that five thousand feet in the Trikuta Hills of the Shivalik Range. Vaishno Devi is also known as Mata Rani and Vaishnavi and is the second most visited one after the Tirupati Balaji temple of Andhra Pradesh. A large number of devout pilgrims drop in to this holy temple to seek the blessings of the goddess and include newly weds, vacationers and family holidaymakers.
The temple dedicated to the goddess is the main tourist attraction in Vaishno Devi and is at a distance of thirteen kilometers from Katra. The pilgrims pay a visit to this shrine which is in a hundred feet long cave with a narrow opening. A subtle presence of spirituality infuses even the most reluctant tourist with zest as he embarks on the difficult journey to catch a glimpse of the deity. The tourism in Vaishno Devi is gaining immense popularity due to the presence of this holy shrine and its picturesque and serene locale. There are certain mythological associations relating to the goddess according to which she was born as a young girl of unusual beauty and vigor, out of the jointly pooled 'Tejas' of many 'Devtas' (gods) and three lords Brahma, Vishnu and Shankar. The pressing need of the conception of the goddess was the destruction of Asura (Devil) Mahishasura. Conversely, another purpose was that she could introduce on earth an era of sanctimonious and ascetic life so that harmony could exist upon the world so that she could attain higher levels of spirituality through penance and in the end merge with Vishnu.
Apart from the main shrine of Vaishno Devi, there are several other shrines also that are worth paying a visit and include Bhumika Temple, Ban Ganga Temple, Charan Paduka Temple, Ardh Kuwari and The Bhairon (Bhairav) Temple.
Make your trip to Vaishno Devi a memorable event by staying at the right kind of accommodation. There are several good quality lodging options that are available here for the tourists. Hotels are also available in the nearby towns such as Jammu and Katra. A few well known hotels include - Hotel Asia Shripati in Katra, and Hotel Jammu Tawi and Hotel Jammu Ashok in Jammu.
Vaishno Devi is well-linked by air, rail and road and can be reached by any of the three modes. The nearest airport is in Jammu and flights are available for Delhi, Srinagar and Leh from here. Jammu is well-connected by a large number of trains with the important destinations of India such as Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai. Road network is well maintained and you can reach here from the major north Indian towns easily.