Maa vaishno devi
Maa vaishno devi is also called Trikuta, Vashnavi and Mata Rani. She is considered to be a manifestation of the Hindu Goddess Maha lakshmi. She is commonly called ‘mata’ and ‘maa’ across the country meaning ‘mother’. The most important temple that has been dedicated towards Mata Vaishno devi is the Vaishno Devi Mandir at katra. This temple is located within J&K region at Trikuta Mountains.
The image of this goddess has been released by the RBI on the coin’s head side.
About Mata vaishno devi temple’s history
No exact record can be found about the origin of the temple. Specific geological studies indicate that this temple could probably be about million years old. Although no mention has been made about Mata Vaishno Devi in the Vedas, the earliest reference of them all is given to Trikuta, a mountain deity in the Rigveda. It was only during the Puranic era that worshiping of female deities and the Shakti started.
Holiest of all Shakti peethas
The shrine of Vaishno Devi is considered by many schools to be among the most powerful and holiest of all the Shakti peethas present in the country. The reason is that the worshipers are of the belief that Mata Sati’s skull fell in this very region. Other followers are of the belief that Sati’s right hand, holding the Abhaya Hasta has fallen in this region.
A human hand remain has been found here, which has been referred to as Varada Hasta, which means granting blessings, boons and protection to the devotees.
Worshipping the Maa Vashnavi
She is said to bestow power and strength those who are weak, provide sight to blind, bless the childless couples to have children and grant wealth to poor. The deity is also known to be very much powerful, being benevolent enough in fulfilling all the wishes of her devotees. It is for this reason, devotes in millions make the trip to the Maa vaishno devi Mandir regularly to seek her blessings, although they have to go through unapproachable, harsh climate and ground conditions.
Her shrine, as Lord Rama had predicted, is always packed with devotees throughout the year. Most auspicious time of the year for visiting her divine abode is termed to be during the Navratri. It is also considered to be a wonderful season for visiting this temple since monsoons and winters make the place inaccessible and extremely cold. By visiting the temple in Navratri period, it has been believed according to the Hindu scriptures that the devotees make a step closer towards attaining heavenly abode.
Reaching the shrine
These days, numerous ways exist by which the shrine can be visited by the devotee. It is at Jammu that the nearest airport and railway station is located. The shrine has been linked to Katra Base Camp through a track which is about 13 kilometres in length.
For undertaking uphill journey to Bhawan from Katra, the devotee can either travel by foot or hire Palkies (palanquin) or ponies.
Nowadays, one can also visit the shrine by booking special helicopter and air taxi services between Sanjichat, Katra and Jammu, which are obviously subjected to the prevailing conditions.