Maa Vaishno Devi Temple
Maa Vaishno Devi Temple is among the most revered Hindu Shrines of India which is located in Katra at the Trikuta hills of Jammu and Kashmir state. Mata has been manifested in the form of Pindies in the cave which are the natural rock formations. There are no idols or statues inside the cave, The Journey from Katra town to Vaishno Devi (Durbar) is 13 km, which has to be traversed by the pony, dandi, or on foot. Pithus (coolies) are also available. Helicopter Service has also been operating daily from Jammu/ Katra to Shrine.
Mother Goddess has been manifested in the form of Pindies in the cave which are the natural rock formations. There are no idols or statues inside the cave. Mata Vaishno Devi has become one of the important places to visit in Jammu It is believed that only after the call of Mata one can visit the holy Shrine Darbar of Mata. Pilgrims trek 12 Kms on their feet from Ban Ganga (Katra) to holy Bhawan, when it comes to the history of Mata Vaishno Devi Holy Shrine no one found out the exact date from when the Holy Shrine pilgrimage started, In fact, research of the Holy Cave and geological investigation has calculated that could be approximately a million years is the time frame since when the Holy pilgrimage continues, But Vedic literature gives no reference to the worship of any female deity.
Source says that the first mention of the Mother Goddess is in the epic Mahabharata at the time of Pandavas and Kauravas armies were arrayed in the battlefield in Kurukshetra, Arjun who was the chief warrior of Pandavas advice of Lord Shri Krishna meditated upon Mata Vaishno Devi and sought her blessing for victory, it is also believed that the Pandavas were the first to build the temples at Bhavan and Kol Kandoli in reverence and gratitude for Mata Vaishno Devi, Overlooking the Holy Cave and adjacent to the Mountain of Trikuta are five stone structures, which are believed to be the rock symbols of 5 Pandavas.