Katra to Bhawan
The entry gate on the track is about 1 km from the bus stand with a point called Darshani Deodhi (meaning entrance) or Darshani Darwaza (meaning gate). Legend says that Mata Vaishno Devi met Pandit Shridhar when it reaches this spot in the form of someone child. This is generally known as Darshani Darwaza because came from here one gets a whole view with the Trikuta parbat (mountain). The definition of Darshan represents view; hence symbolically here is the first Darshan of the Yatra. This spot is in 2800 feet above sea level.
The two gates at this point; the primary and the older gate leads to a flight of steps; your second and the newer a person manufactured by Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board being a grand colonnaded porch with adequate parking web hosting vehicles. The army assistance counter can also be located here.
It’s possible to either walk around the Darshani Darwaza by walking or hire an automobile rickshaw. For more has her own vehicle it’s possible to increase on the new gate, next to the Darshani Darwaza leave it parked there. But is strongly advised to lock it properly and remove all of the valuables before leaving it behind. Parking is a the owner’s risk.
Before 30th August, 1986 i.e. ahead of the take over from the management of Shrine from the Board, the track was pot-holed, kutcha and littered with loosely laid stones. After the take control the whole track has been re-laid, widened, made pucca and tiled. Sharp gradients are improved making it gentler at many stretches. A large number of parapets are actually constructed and railings are actually provided. Greater than 5 Kms in the track has been engrossed in rain shelters to guard the pilgrims from the vagaries of weather.
Earlier there was almost no illumination / lighting on the track which now glitters using more than 1200 Questionable Sodium Vapour Lamps. To make sure availability of potable water to the visiting devotees, 120 water points contributing to 20 water coolers happen to be installed enroute the track from Banganga to Bhawan. Prior to control you there were extremely little sanitary arrangements about the track. However, now about 600 latrine seats with modern flushing system happen to be provided along the track and Bhawan.
Keeping in View the increased influx of pilgrims and the inconvenience they faced as a result of movement of ponies, the sharp gradient at Hathimatha and also the congested width on the old track, the making of a new track which has a very gradual gradient was undertaken noisy . 1990s. The brand new track poularly known as the alternate track was thrown open to people in 1999. This track, on which no ponies are allowed, is shorter and gentler versus the old track and possesses been widely appreciated by the pilgrims.
The alternate track starts from just below Adhkuwari near Inderprastha view point and terminates just less than Bhawan Complex. It can be 500 meters shorter compared to the old track. This track is much more wider in comparison with the current track which is much better to negotiate because of uniformity of climb minimizing gradient. Two view points, three mercantile establishment/ refreshment units, drinking waterpoints and water cooler happen to be constructed/ installed on the Track. Several Tea/Coffee, Soft Drinks sales outlets are actually installed besides a Dosa point at Himkoti Viewpoint. Adequate variety of Toilet blocks are actually constructed for the Alternate Track using a view to supply clean public utilities for the visiting Devotees. Sufficient volume of Shelter Sheds can be found. A zero-emission battery vehicle is operated with this track.
Battery vehicle facility can be found at Inderprasth (Adhkuwari) and Manokmana Bhawan for infirm, sick and handicap devotees. The booking of facility is susceptible to availability.
Following Police Check Post and Yatra Parchi Check Post, the pilgrims reach a compact bridge to which flows Banganga, the legendary river of this particular miracles and legends of Mata. There exists water within the river through the entire year except if you find a serious shortfall of rain or snow over the monsoon and winter respectively. It truly is considered sacred so when is normal Hindu tradition, devotees choose to bathe from it before proceeding further. Inside the changed times, many pilgrims choose to skip the more common bath, but those getting the time or people who find themselves traditionally inclined and also stick to the legends and traditions, would want to have a dip before proceeding further. There is a number of Ghats built too, for this specific purpose. The first is often very crowded along with the other is comparatively more spacious.
The category of this river arises from two terms, Ban and Ganga. Ban means Arrow and Ganga stands for the sacred river Ganges. It truly is considered that Mata Vaishno Devi, while you’re on her solution to the Holy Cave, created this water body with the arrow from her quiver, and so the name Banganga. It is also stated that she had taken a dip inside it together washed her hair here. Thus a lot of people also would rather refer to it Bal Ganga, the definition of Bal meaning hair in Hindi.
About 1.5 kms. from Banganga at an altitude of 3380 feet is Charan Paduka, the place where the imprints of Mata’s pious feet are considered to be imprinted using a rock slab. The Darshans at Charan Paduka do not take on some minutes on the normal day. One pays obeisance with the footprints of Mata engraved with a rock slab and proceeds further. Symbolically, it implies touching feet of Mata and looking Her blessings at the beginning of the journey.
A medical unit of the Shrine Board can also be located here, that’s furnished with all necessary medical facilities and it is attended by trained medical staff.
Around 500 mtrs. from Inderprastha and located at an altitude of 4800 feet is Adkuwari. Anybody can get a peek at the fluttering flag and temple spires and can hear continuous announcements on the announcement booth much before going ahead and reaching there. Adkuwari would be the half way mark around the track since it is situated well away of nearly 6 kms. from Katra. The Holy Cave is now nearly 6 km. away. Adkuwari is among the most crucial Darshans on the visit, second only to the principle Darshans on the Holy Cave.
The term Adkuwari is considered to have come from Adi kumari, which suggests “The Eternal Virgin”. Good legend, when Vaishnavi, in the form of a compact girl, disappeared on the Bhandaara organized by Pandit Shridhar, she halted at Banganga and Charan Paduka. From there she reached Adkuwari, where, in a small womb shaped cave she meditated and observed spiritual discipline (Tapasya) for nine long months. The precise spot where she is considered to have meditated is situated for the right side within the cave and it is in the shape of a womb. Since Vaishnavi had observed spiritual discipline inside a womb shaped cave to get a duration of nine months, this cave has grown to be popular by the name of Garbh Joon, which has range from term Garbh Yoni meaning the Womb. It can be generally considered that by merely passing through this cave, a devotee’s sins are cleansed and the soul becomes pious again.
When during her meditation She pointed out that Bhairon Nath had approached the fall in Her search, She created an exit in the other end back with her trident and proceeded towards Holy Cave.
Because the cave is very narrow, only one person can go through it at once. As the entrance is comfortably broad, as one enters further one starts wondering whether or not it could well be feasible for him to feed it or not. A prompt or possibly a nudge from the person waiting behind him, a remembrance of Mata from the hearts and also on the lips, and crawl by crawl, an example may be out of your cave, fully recharged by having an energy that definitely is among the other world.
Himkoti can be found far away of 2.75 kms from Adkuwari for the new track. Himkoti is one of the most breathtaking spots on this track with breathtaking scenic views with the entire valley. Although there is no traditional or religious significance related to here, the very nature with this spot and its particular natural splendour envelops the pilgrims in a very ethereal and mysterious charm. Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board is promoting a view point, restaurant and a dosa counter here. Packed and cooked food including meals, hot and cold beverages as well as other important items including medicare and oxygen cylinders, cassettes are available here. There is certainly adequate place to rest and relax and also experience the appeal of nature. Himkoti has developed something more than a view point, through an artificial pond, a garden along with a meditation centre.
Sanji Chhat can be a delightful little plateau two and a half kilometers less than the Holy Shrine of Vaishno Devi Ji. Since, the upward gradient ends after all this and because from the scenic find it offers, this place is a pleasant halt for that pilgrims. Before the control you in 1986, the state of affairs here was entirely different. Small dirty kiosks housed a cluster of shops, the shopkeepers threw the waste around the hill side, setting up a dirty sight plus a foul smell. There have been no arrangements for waters except Chhabils. There was clearly only a Dharamshalla constructed by Dharmarth Trust, which provided extremely inadequate accommodation with almost non – existent toilet facilities.
After management from the Shrine was absorbed through the Shrine Board, the expansion scenario of Sanjhichhat witnessed a sea change. To begin with an enormous sanitation drive was launched to completely clean the hill side. The kiosks were removed and shifted to another area. The main platform was laid with white marble and Kota Stone and was beautified by constructing a fountain and flood lights. A brand new shopping complex and toilet blocks were constructed. Water supply was augmented. To boost the medical facilities for that pilgrims, a 24 bedded hospital appeared functional. A brand new Helipad was also constructed here. This helipad has facilitated the recent introduction of Helicopter Service between Katra and Sanjhichhat.
The Bhairon Temple remained ignored previous to control from the holy Shrine by Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board in the year 1986. The track resulting in the temple was Kacha and a dilapidated condition, making the climb a gruelling task. As soon as the absorb, emphasis was laid on developments in this area, particularly the widening and beautification from the track, remodelling of steps, construction of rain shelters, toilets etc. The full track has been illuminated with good Pressure Sodium Vapour Lamps. Water supply has been augmented and toilet blocks happen to be constructed with the convenience of the pilgrims. For providing adequate and inexpensive beverages and packed food products including biscuits and snacks, a refreshment unit named OM have been started. The Temple area has been beautified by fixing marble tiles and slabs across the pre-ambulation of the temple. All these efforts have elected the visit with the pilgrims to Bhairon temple far easier and memorable.