The world famous and ancient temple of Vaishno Devi is located on the hills near Katra Nagar in Jammu region of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. These hills are called Trikuta hills. The temple of Matarani is situated here at a height of about 5,200 feet. It is the second most visited religious pilgrimage site in India after Tirumala Venkateswara Temple.
Temple Introduction: In a cave situated on the hills of Trikuta, there are three self-styled idols of Goddess Vaishno Devi. Goddess Kali (right), Saraswati (left) and Lakshmi (middle), reside in the cave as Pindi. The combined form of these three bodies is called Vaishno Devi Mata. This place is called Mother’s Building. The length of the sacred cave is 98 feet. A large platform is built in this cave. The mother’s seat is on this platform where Goddess Trikuta resides with her mother.
The building is the place where Mata killed Bhairavnath. Bhairo’s body is present in front of the ancient cave and his head flew to Bhairon Valley three kilometers away and the body remained here. The place where the head fell, today the place is known as ‘Temple of Bhaironath’. It is from Katra itself that the foot-climb of Vaishno Devi begins which is about 13 kilometers up to the building and 14.5 kilometers to the Bhairo temple.
The Mythology of the Temple: There are many types of legends regarding the temple. Once upon seeing a beautiful girl on the hill of Trikuta, Bhairavnath ran to catch her. Then the girl changed into air and flew towards Trikuta mountain. Bhairavnath also ran after him. It is believed that Pawanputra reached Hanuman there to protect his mother. When Hanuman ji felt thirsty, at his insistence, the mother pulled an arrow from the bow with a bow and washed her hair in that water. Then, entering the cave in a cave there, the mother meditated for nine months. Hanuman ji guarded him. Then Bhairav Nath came there and threatened. During that time a monk told Bhairavnath that the one whom you consider a girl is Adishakti Jagadamba, so give up the pursuit of that superpower. Bhairavnath did not listen to the monk. Mata then made her way out of the other side of the cave. This cave is still famous as Ardhkumari or Adikumari or Garbhajoon. The step mother of the first mother of Ardhkumari is also Paduka. This is the place where Mata turned around and saw Bhairavnath.
Finally, after getting out of the cave, the girl assumed the form of a goddess and went back to the cave again, asking to go back to Bhairavnath, but Bhairavanath did not believe and entered the cave. Seeing this, Hanumanji, guarding Mata’s cave, challenged her to battle and both of them fought. Seeing no end of the war, Mata Vaishnavi killed Bhairavnath by taking the form of Mahakali.
It is said that after his slaughter, Bhairavnath repented of his mistake and begged for forgiveness from his mother. Mata Vaishno Devi knew that Bhairava’s main intention behind attacking her was to attain salvation. Then he not only liberated Bhairava from the cycle of rebirth, but gave him a boon, saying that my darshan will not be considered complete, unless a devotee, after me, will see you.
Story of the temple: The above story is also linked to Shridhar, a devotee of Vaishno Devi. More than 700 years ago, Sridhar, a great devotee of mother Vaishnavi, lived in Hansali village, some distance from Katra. They were childless and poor. But he used to think that one day he will keep the stock of mother. One day Sridhar invited all the nearby villagers to receive the prasad and on the Bhandare day, Sridhar requested everyone to go to the house in turn so that they would get the food and cook the food and feed it to the guests on the Bhandar day. Could. The number of people who helped her was not enough as the guests were very few.
He was wondering how Bhandara would be with such a small baggage. The day before Bhandare, Sridhar was unable to sleep even for a moment, wondering how he would be able to provide food to the guests. He was surrounded by problems till morning and now he was looking forward to his mother. He sat outside his hut for worship, by noon the guests had started coming, seeing Sridhar worshiping, he sat where he was seen. All the people sat easily in the small hut of Sridhar.
Sridhar opened his eyes and thought how to feed them all, then he saw a little girl coming out of the hut named Vaishnavi. She came by the grace of God, she was serving delicious food to all, Bhandara was very well endowed. After Bhandare, Sridhar was anxious to learn about the little girl Vaishnavi, but Vaishnavi disappeared and no one saw her after that. After many days, Sridhar had a dream of that little girl, it became clear that she was mother Vaishnodevi. The girl, who came in the form of Mata Rani, told him about the cave and blessed her with a boon of four sons. Sridhar is happy once again and sets out in search of the mother’s cave and after a few days he finds that cave. Since then, devotees started going there to see Mother.