The holy cave shrine of Vaishno Devi is said to have been built by the five Pandavas. The length of the cave is about 98 ft. The symbols of a large number of gods and goddesses of the Hindu pantheon can be seen here.
Within the cave are ancient images of three deities, the Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and Mahasaraswati. Popular belief holds that anybody who walks up to the shrine of Vaishno Devi to ask for a boon rarely goes back disappointed. There are many who journey here year after year to pay obeisance, regardless of their faith or belief, creed or class for Mata Vaishno Devi transcends all such barriers.
This cave Shrine is narrow and houses the rock-cut idols of the Goddess, Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and Mahasaraswati. The canopies of the idols are made up of silver and gold. The devouts offer coconuts and red scarves here. Pilgrims from all over India throng the place all the year round. One has to acquire a pass at Katra, to visit the shrine.
Devotees aver that the revered Mata calls out to her followers, and only then can one go to her sublime shrine. An arduous journey up the Trikuta Mountain range and the final darshan (audience) of the Goddess leaves one with staunch faith in Her. It is believed that one can ask the great Mother of any needful thing and promise to visit her when the wish is fulfilled. Lakhs of people vouch for the deity's graciousness and visit the shrine in the form of thanksgiving.
Ideal Time For Visit:
Although the Vaishno Devi shrine can be visited throughout the year, the pilgrimage is generally undertaken by the devotees in the severe cold months of the year, i.e., from October to February. During the festival of Navaratri, thousands of diehard followers from all over the country and even abroad line up the long mountain roads to worship the deity. Navaratri is the biggest festival in honor of the Goddess and people have to stand in lines for hours to have the darshan.
» Airway : Nearest airport - Jammu (48 km from Katra) Daily Flights are available from Delhi and Srinagar. These flights (Indian Airlines) connect Chandigarh & Amritsar on some days of the week.