Vaishno Devi trip will give you a balance of religious solace and picturesque surrounding. So we present you the list of things to do while your trek to Vaishnodevi Temple.
- Don’t stop yourself from chanting “Jai Mata Di”
When you start your trek from basecamp don’t shy away from joining any group of pilgrims and shout “Jai Mata Di”. The trek accompanied with the slogans and chants will keep you enthusiastic and energised throughout. There are stereos and mikes which play “Mata rani’s” songs with vibrant tunes. You can stop anytime and groove some moves. While going upwards you’ll come across a lot of musicians and singers, do test your singing skills with them. Dance, sing and say aloud “Jai Mata Di” throughout the journey. While chilling by the shops of souvenirs, do buy a music CD of Maa Vaishnodevi.
- Pony Ride, why not?
We know, we know you are fit enough to walk by yourself. But, there is always a room for better experience. Before starting the journey to the temple, you get a lot of ponies on rent. The rates of these services are fixed. Relevant information about the prices and availability is available on various sign boards or at the Assistance Centers at Katra, Banganga and other places. One must avoid paying anything over and above the fixed rates. One can always offer them food, refreshment etc. if one wishes to, but it is out of choice and is not mandatory. So hire a Pony, if not for the entire journey, but for a little while and enjoy the breathtaking landscape from the mountains.
- Keep your belly satisfied
Refreshments like biscuits, cold-drinks. coffee, tea, milk, mineral water, etc. are available throughout the way at refreshment Units maintained by the Shrine Board. Nearly all of these units are located at locations from where one can have a breathtaking view of the valley. Therefore, they are also known as View Points. The Shrine Board also runs full-fledged Bhojanalyas which provide rajma rice, puri chole, sambhal dosa, kadi pakoda, dahi vada and many more delicious delicacies. So, grab a coke along with a plate of Rajma-rice and enjoy the stunning view of the valley
- Pay your tributes to Ardh Kuwari Temple
The location of this temple is at the middle of the journey to Holy Shrine and especially at a spot where pilgrims take a rest. The length of this cave is fifteen foot, though it is too narrow. From this place onwards, the path for the temple turns steep. A common belief circulates among people that in case you fail to visit this place you haven’t completed this holy pilgrimage. That’s why all pilgrims arrive at this cave to complete the pilgrimage.
- Stop at Sanjichhat
Sanjichhat is a beautiful spot located at a distance of 3.25 km from Ardh kunwari. The panoramic view of the valley and snow covered peak of Himalayas can be enjoyed from this spot. It is the highest point on the old track and an end point to the uphill climb. To reach the temple premise, tourists have to walk downhill from Sanjichhat
- Vaishnodevi Temple, of course
The Vaishnodevi Temple is the purpose for which you will be undertaking 14km long trek. There are many legends around the deity and nobody is sure which one is correct. When you reach the cave, you can spot three stones (called Pindian) which symbolizes Maa Kali, Maa Lakshmi and Maa Saraswati. Maa Vaishnodevi symbolizes all three deities being together, accumulation of the strength of all three. Mata Vaishno Devi Darshan is very tiresome, but it will be worth the effort. After leaving the temple you’ll experience a certain kind of repose and calm
- Do not miss the rising Sun!
Usually people begin their journey to the temple late in the evenings. And according to that calculation you will be out of the temple by early morning. So, while descending down in the morning do not forget to stop and enjoy the rising sun. The rising of Sun from the mountain beds and clasping the entire valley in its sunshine will leave you mesmerized.
- Treat your aching body with a massage
After this long trek, you will surely need a massage. While coming down the hill, you’ll see a lot of massage parlours. That’s the best of relieving the fatigue of trek.
So, pack your bags and get going. Jai Mata Di!