Well i always use to deny when someone offers me for any tour. Its my habit since I was in college.I had my graduation in Dehradun and still I never explored most of the popular destinations near from Dehradun like Haridwar,Mussoorie,Rishikesh etc. But when my big brother and sister-in-law were planning to visit Vaishno Devi then they asked me too for booking my ticket then I was thinking whether I should go with them or just drop their plan of taking me too. But finally they insisted me to come with them and my sister-in-law and I was very much excited for the trip. I insisted my brother that I’ll go with you only when you will give a day for fun and sightseeing in Kashmir after Mata Darshan. He agreed and booked a luxury Hotel Asia in Katra through a website http://indianhoneymoonpackages.com/ because this site also arranged their honeymoon trip to Kerala fantastically.
From here our journey to Mata Vaishno Devi started. We departed from Delhi railway station around 5:00 pm. The train was clean from inside and outside as it was the first train from Delhi to Katra. That was the navratre time so there were lots of crowd and rush. But finally we allotted our seats and get relaxed. For more than 4 5 hours we three were discussing lots of things,doing fun and planning for the next day that when will we have visit to Mata Temple.Then we had dinner and get back to our seats for sleeping.Next day around 6:00 am we reached at Katra Railway station. The station was so neat and clean and well furnished. It was giving the view of Airport and we had lots of photo shoots there. Then we get refreshed and took ticket for our journey. There was tight security as they were scanning the face of every visitor,asking about their names and area of resident and then issuing the ticket.We carried our tickets and forward towards very spiritual trip.
When we reached at main road there we stopped an auto and told him for dropping us at Ban ganga,the place where the checking of your luggage starts and devotees can take bath. This is the place where travelers across different cities,states comes and start their journey on foot. Some yatri use horse riding or palki yatra. But we started our trip on foot. As we moved on we reached to ancient Charan Paduka Temple.This is the temple where goddess stopped for a while just to look back whether Bhairon Nath was still chasing her or not.We were overwhelmed and were looking ahead to know more about goddess. Some devotees were coming back and some were going for mata darshan. But I could see the same shine in the eyes of every yatri.Only one sound were echoing in the air “Jai Mata Di”.Initially it was very tiring and I was thinking how soon I will reach at Bhawan. We had fast that day so we were taking rest at many of the spots which are finely developed by Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board. For more than an hour we were sitting in some places,eating fruits and finding ourselves in heaven.T here is nothing better than this holy place.The weather were also favourable as we were there in September. Shrine Board really made the things very easy for the travelers.Appreciable work they are doing. Lots of facilities were there like shelter sheds,bhojanalya and refreshment units,medical facility,bhaint shop,blanket stores etc. Slowly slowly our footsteps were reached to Adhkuwari . At this place the Goddess is believed to have worshiped Lord Shiva in a cave for 9 months and when Bhairon Nath found her inside the cave She made an opening in the cave proceeded towards Bhawan.Now that was the journey of 2 more hours. But still we took a long rest and captured lots of photographs. At 9 pm we reached Bhawan and we all were amazed by the flower decoration at every single corner of goddess temple(Bhawan). Then we took bath and bought bhaint for Mata and did goddess Darshan. There were a long queue and we had our sight of goddess at 12:00 am.You will not get much time to stay and make a wish in front of Mata because beside you there are lots of other people waiting for the same but still that 10 to 15 seconds sight of goddess made me feel so energetic from inside and then we were served sacrament (Prashad).After having it we had our dinner.After finishing our dinner we were thinking of taking some rest in Bhawan only. Now we were feeling cold somewhere but we didn’t get any blanket from store. But somehow we managed two blankets and slept for 1 to 2 hour. At 3:00 am we decided to move to down after sight of Bhiron Nath. We had tea,samosa and start continuing towards our Hotel Asia. Yea there is no doubt that our legs were paining but that pain was giving so relief. With smile in our face we reached to hotel at 9:00 am and greeted very gently. They served tea as we reached there and the room was fabulous with balcony giving a spectacular himalayan view. Then we get relaxed for 3 to 4 hour and ordered lunch. In evening we went to local market to purchase some gifts for family members. The market was surrounded with cosmetics and other decorative materials. We bought some famous things of Kashmir such as walnuts,almonds and various kind of sacrament. Then we had delicious dinner and photography in and around market.We reached hotel at 11:00pm and enjoyed superb famous pista shake with lots of gossips and then we get asleep. Next day woke up at 9:00am and had an amazing sunshine view of Bhawan from our room terrace. Then we had brunch with lots of delicious varities. And then finally we checked out and boarded in our train to Delhi. All in one I can say it was the most memorable time and had a great freak out.
Do visit Shri Mata Vaishno Devi and feel the heaven in Earth itself.