Vaishno Devi Temple | Famous Shakti Peethas In India
Vaishno Devi Temple is one of the famous Shakti Peethas. It is believed that head part of the Goddess Sati fell here. A pilgrimage to this highly revered temple is regarded as one of the holiest pilgrimages of our times. The temple is located in Katra at the Trikuta Mountains of Jammu Kashmir. Goddess Vaishno Devi is also known as Matarani, Trikuta, and Vaishnavi.
The notable temple resides in a holy cave which is situated at an altitude of 5200 ft. The pilgrims have to undertake a trek of nearly 12 km from the base camp at Katra. Have a glimpse of the Mother Goddess inside the Sanctum Sanctorum in the form of natural rock formations. These rock formations are also called as Pindies.
The conspicuous temple fascinating hordes of devotees every year. People from all parts of the world have been visiting this temple annually exceeds over one crore. People believe that Devi will fulfill all their wishes.
Read the intriguing legend of Shakti Peethas
Lord Brahma performed a yagna to please Lord Shiva and Goddess Sati. Pleased by his devotion Goddess Sati emerged, separating from Lord Shiva and helped Brahma in the creation of the universe. Thereafter, Brahma decided to reunite Shakti and Shiva. To fulfill his father desire, his son Daksha performed various yagnas to get a boon that Shakti will born as his daughter. He was blessed with 27 daughters, Sati Devi is one among them.
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Once, Dashka entered the arena of a Yaga performed by Agni, everyone except Lord Shiva stood up as a mark of respect. Daksha felt insulted by Lord Shiva’s behavior. Daksha started hating Lord Shiva and decided not to let Lord Shiva and Sati get married. However, Sati got attracted to Lord Shiva and eventually, she married Lord Shiva without the consent of his father.
One day Daksha performed a yagna with a desire to take revenge on Lord Shiva. Daksha invited all the deities to the yajna except Lord Shiva and Sati. Despite not getting the invitation from his father she keens on attending the yagna. She expressed her desire to Shiva, who tried his best to dissuade her from going. Shiva eventually relented and Sati went to the yagna. Sati, being an uninvited guest, was not given any respect at the yagna. Moreover, Daksha insulted Shiva. Sati was unable to bear her father’s insults toward her husband, so she immolated herself.
Enraged at the insult and the injury, Shiva in his Virabhadra avatar destroyed Daksha’s yagna, cut off Daksha’s head, and later replaced it with that of a male goat as he restored him to life. Virabhadra didn’t stop fighting; he kept raging with anger. Gods prayed to Lord Vishnu. He came there and started fighting him. Still immersed in grief, Shiva picked up the remains of Sati’s body and performed the Tandava, the celestial dance of destruction, across all creation. The other Gods requested Vishnu to intervene to stop this destruction, towards which Vishnu used the Sudarshana Chakra, which cut through Sati’s corpse. The various parts of the body fell at several spots all through the Indian subcontinent and formed sites which are known as Shakti Peethas today.
Best Time to Visit
While the Vaishno Devi is open throughout the year, the best time to visit the holy shrine is between the months of March and October. Navaratras see the maximum crowd in the temple.