The journey to the Holy Shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji starts with the Call of Mata. It is not only a belief but also a strong experience of one and all that the Divine Mother sends a call to her children. And once a person receives it, wherever he is, is bound to visit the Mother to receive Her unbounded love and blessings. A popular slogan in the local folklore beautifully expresses it- Maan Aap Bulandi - which means that The Mother Herself Calls!
Life is a pilgrimage. The wise man does not rest by the roadside inns.
The Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine is linked to the Base Camp Katra with a 13 Kms track. The entire uphill Journey from Katra to Bhawan is on foot; however, one can hire ponies, palkies or pithoo for ease of journey. Recently Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board has started the air taxi services between Jammu, Katra and Sanjichat at the normal rates.
Mata Vaishno Devi shrine is located near the Katra district at a height of 5200 ft. The Devi resides inside a cave on Trikuta, a three-peaked mountain. After reaching Katra, one has to undertake a trek of approximately 12 km to reach the cave of Mata Vaishno Devi. After the trek is over, the yatris (devotees) are blessed with the Darshan (a view) of the goddess inside her holy cave. The cave does not contain any statues or photos. The cave houses three natural rock formations, called the Pindies that represent the three goddesses. The pindi in the middle represents Laxmi Mata, on the right is Kali Mata and on the left is Saraswati Mata. Vaishnodevi pilgrimage tour is considered to be one of the holiest pilgrimages in India.
The Holy Cave of Shiv Khori is the abode of Lord Shiva, situated at a distance of 70 km from Katra. The cave is a real wonder to be seen and measures nearly a kilometer in length with a four-feet-high naturally formed Shiv-lingam at the heart of the sanctum sanctorum.