One of the most well known and oldest holy places of India is Mata Vaishno Devi which is situated at an altitude of 5300 feet. The temple is located in Trikuta hills of the Shivalik Hill range. The abode of Mata Vaishno Devi is in a cave which is 100 feet long and is narrow. It can be mentioned that there are three 'pindies' symbolizing Maa Sarswati, Maa Kali and Maa Laxmi that signifying creative, destructive as well as preservative characteristics of this supreme power. The shrine is quite oldest in nature and thus its story can be found out in the Vedas as well as scriptures. The temple is most visited during the month of Navratra by the pilgrims.
It can be mentioned that the temple of Vaishno Devi is one of the most respected Hindu temple in Jammu & Kashmir. It is believed that by visiting this temple, a person can remove all the sins of his previous birth and shall offer prosperity as well as good health in the present birth. It is said that Mata Rani tends to fulfill all the wishes of the children in a short while. Most of the people believe and has a strong experience that the Divine Mother tends to send a call to her children and after receiving it, her child is bound to visit it in order to attain her unbound love as well as blessings.
Mythology and Legends
According to the mythological legends, it is believed that the daughter of Ratnakar was the embodiment of Maa Saraswati, Kali as well as Lakshmi. The main reason behind her birth was the destruction of the devil Mahishasura. She completed her education at an early age and was a devotee of Lord Vishnu. Once upon a time when she was meditating in the forest, she saw a man named Bhairavnath who was lured by her good looks and forced her to marry him. She ran from the jungle and hides herself inside the cave for nine months in order to protect herself. Later on, she came out of the jungle and faced Bhairavnath courageously by cutting off his head. Bhairavnath asked for forgiveness and she forgave him immediately. Hence, this is considered to be the mythological significance of Bhairavnath. Pandit Sridhar disclosed the temple of Bhairavnath who used to live in Hansali Village which was situated in the Trikuta Mountain. He went inside the dense forest in order to search for Vaisnavi and found out that she was turned into an eight armed idol sitting on the lion. Vaishnavi mentioned Sridhar that she is the embodiment of Maa Saraswati, Kali and Lakhsmi. Since that point of time, the cave has become a holy place which is visited by millions of people every year.
There are many other legends associated with the creation of this temple. As per the Mahabharata, it is believed that Arjun who was considered as the third Pandava meditated and prayed god in order to attain her blessings to win Kurukshetra battle. The place jamboo in Mahabharata denotes the present day Jammu where the temple has been built. It is believed that they built this temple as token of respect for her blessings.
The basic attractions of the place are the temples such as the Bhairav Nath cave, Mata Rani cave and other caves which are of great significance. The entrance to the Mata Rani cave is quite narrow possessing flow of chilled water which is known as Charan Ganga. The pilgrims are required to cross from this small passage in order to get inside the main sanctorum. There are three idols located inside the temple such as Maa Saraswati, Maa Kali and Maa Laksmi.