VAISHNO DEVI – Bhawan Darshan and BhaironathTemple

To read the series from start please click here.

In this final post of this  Mighty Series , We are going to have the darshan of Holy Cave from where Devi went to place where she is seated, Great Goddess in form of Three Pindies  and The Tantrik Bhaironath whom Mata with her mercy gave Salvation ( Moksha). This is the most visited temple of Shakti and second most visited temple after Tirupati Balaji.

At Vaishno Devi Bhawan

At around 11.30 PM we reached Bhawan and there was still thick fog covering the entire place. At the first gate all battery operated cars stop. Beyond this they are not allowed to go further. Again here there is security check. Pithu left us for having lunch.

First Entrance of the Bhawan , Vaishno Devi

Bhaint Shop at the Bhawan 

Then comes a BHAINT SHOP or say where one can buy offerings for Mata just before the entrance gate of The Bhawan. This is the final Bhaint Shop and beyond this there is no Bhaint Shop. Now there are some norms for offerings done to Vaishno Devi .

The traditional offerings to Mata include Chunri (a red coloured drape), Saries,Cholas, Silver or Gold ornaments, Dry Fruits, Flowers etc. No sweets, sweet dishes, food stuffs etc. are allowed inside the Holy Cave and pilgrims should refrain from buying such offerings. Coconuts are also not permitted due to security considerations and hence no Coconuts are allowed to be broken anywhere near the Holy Cave, as is the practice at other temples. But being so intimately connected with the traditional offerings they are not refused either. Pilgrims are required to deposit the Coconuts at a counter in the Main Waiting Hall, before entering the Holy Cave and are given a token in return. They can reclaim their coconuts from a separate counter, once they are out of the Holy Cave after having Darshans.

Group Number Allocation for Darshan

Here near final  Bhaint Shop there also a counter where we are allotted a group number. Group number system is organised system which helps the controlling the unncessary crowd at the queue. A group number is alloted to 50 yatries and when the group number is displayed on the screen then only pilgrims from that group need to queue up, rather than standing continuously. So be sure before visiting the Bhawan take your group number otherwise unnecessarily one has to come backside again to collect it.

Last Bhaint Shop near the first entrance ,  Vaishno Devi

Bhaint Shops are no profit no loss shops all the way to Bhawan , where Prasad/Bhaints offerings are available at a fair price. Hence the pilgrims are not required to buy offerings at Katra and carry them all the way to Bhawan.Check Out for prices.

Nominal and no profit no loss prices of Prasad by Shrine Board ,Vaishno Devi

Souvenir Shops

The Shrine Board has developed Gold and Silver coins of guaranteed purity. These coins carry an impression of the Holy Pindies and are made of Gold or Silver offered at the feet of the Goddess. These coins are available at the Prashad counter just outside the Holy Cave and at all the banks at Bhawan. The rates of the coins depend on the denomination chosen and the prevailing gold and silver rates.

Yatries may take notice that all these items are exclusively available at the Souvenir Shops of Shrine Board and are not available at any of the private shops.

You can see a Sovereign Shop at the right ( Here you can buy gold coins ),Vaishno Devi

Then we moved towards cloak room where we can deposit our cameras , mobile phones etc. which are not allowed further. There are many rest rooms here at Bhawan where one can rest if the queue is long . Here I got few seconds wheh Fog was away and in that few seconds I managed to click the picture of this great Bhawan.

A picture of Bhawan , Vaishno Devi

*** A Photo of Bhawan taken from top , Vaishno Devi

Another sign board indicating the form Devi has took to give darshan to her devotees , Vaishno Devi

And then we went in queue for having darshan of Holy Cave and Vaishno Devi Maa. Just have darshan of Holy Cave and Devi Maa and some other  pictures of Bhawan.

Holy Cave of Vaishno Devi

*** Holy Cave, Vaishno Devi

This the cave from where Devi went inside to the place where she is seated now. This is generally full of water and closed because of rush. One can just have darshan from outside. To have darshan through this cave one has to come in Mid January and February when the crowd is less.

*** Another close up of the Holy Cave , ( Can you see the water gushing inside) ,Vaishno Devi

Moving forward through the marble tunnel we reach the our ultimate destination i.e. The three Pindies

Three Pinides, Vaishno devi , Tridevi

a) Maha Saraswati Devi on the left side 

b) Maha Vaishnavi Devi in the middle 

c) Maha Kaali Devi on the right side

Three Pindies , Maha Saraswati, Maha Vaishnavi  and Maha Kaali, Jai Mata di, Vaishno Devi ( Picture taken from Picture in my Hotel Niharika Complex )

That was really magnetizing sight ,full of eternal shine and celestial bliss. One just doesn’t want to go away from here. We had good one minute darshan here since the crowd was less ,which is also very rare as the cave is very small and one has just get time to have glimpse of around 5 – 10 seconds.

Aarti and Pooja at Vaishno Devi Bhawan

The ‘Aarti’ of the Goddess is performed twice a day first time in the morning just before the sunrise and second time in the evening immediately after the sunset. The procedure of ‘Aarti’ is a very sacred and lengthy one. Before the commencement of ‘Aarti’, the Pujaris perform ‘Aatam pujan’ i,e self-purification. Then the Goddess is bathed in water, milk, ghee (Clarified butter), honey and sugar. Thereafter the goddess is dressed-up in a saree, chola and chuni and ornaments are endowed upon her. The whole process takes place amidst the enchantment of various shlokas and Mantras. Thereafter Tilak is placed on the forehead of the deity and Navied (prashad) is offered to her. The Pujaris perform puja of various Gods and Goddesses, as it is a believed that during the Aarti time, all the Gods and Goddesses are present inside the sanctum Sanctorum. The Jyoti (divine lamp) is lightened and then the ‘Aarti’ of the goddess is performed. After the whole procedure, the thaal which contains the lamp and various other items used in the ‘Aarti’, is brought outside the mouth of the holy cave, where ‘Aarti’ of the goddess is performed in the presence of yatris.

On persistent demand from yatries and taking into consideration the sentiments involved, a system of individual Poojan has been introduced. This new Poojan system accommodates the religious sentiments associated with the pilgrimage and is in line with the system being followed at some other revered places of worship.A variant of this Poojan is also allowed whereby the devotee need not be physically present. The Poojan is performed in his name and the Prashad is sent to him by post.

Keeping in view the persistent demand and religious sentiments of the Yatries and taking into account the shraddha of the Yatries in the Individual Poojan started last year,  another poojan facility named “SHRADHA SUMAN VISHESH POOJA” has been introduced for the devotees desirous of attending Aarti Darshan of the Holy Goddess.

For more details regarding cost of Pooja and facilities offered please click here 

Coming outside the other marble tunnel we find one Golden statue of Maha Devi Outside just outside the cave.

*** A Golden Statue of Adishakti Devi just outside the Cave , Vaishno Devi

Charan Ganga

Just outside the exit tunnel, towards the left hand side of the Cave is the Amrit Kund. This comprises the water taps through which flows the water of the Charan Ganga, the sacred water flowing from the feet of Mata. Pilgrims prefer to fill the Holy Water called Charanamrit in bottles and take it along with them for purification of their residences and cure of various ailments. Empty bottles and containers are available at the Bhaint Shops run by the Shrine Board.

*** Charan Ganga ,Vaishno Devi

Don’t Miss these darshans

There are other Darshans in the Bhawan area as well. These include Darshans of Lord Shiva’s Shivling in a cave, Mata Durga, Lord Shiv, Shri Ram with Sita and Lakshman, Lord Hanuman etc. These Darshans are in temples situated at different point of the Bhawan complex. Signboards have been put up at Bhawan to guide the yatries as to the location of these temples.

Then after having some refreshments we headed towards Bhaironath temple . Bhaironath Temple is around 2 kms from Main Shrine or Bhawan and believe me I was completely exhausted climbing this one. I didn’t feel much while climbing Bhawan. But climbing Bhairo was something different and very much tiring and drenching. Rain also started in between and  I wore a temporary use and throw raincoat bought for just Rs. 10.

Myself in a raincoat towards Bhaironath Temple ,Vaishno Devi

At Bhaironath temple we find lot of Langoors

A langoor at Bhaironath Temple , Vaishno Devi

Fully Exhausted Me near Bhaironath Temple , Vaishno Devi

At Bhaironath Temple

Here we come at Bhaironath Temple. Its legend is written on the huge Signboard here.It is said that visit to Vaishno devi Shrine is incomplete unless you visit Bhaironath Temple.

Bhaironath Legend at Bhaironath Temple , Vaishno Devi

Here comes Bhaironath Temple

Bhaironath Temple , Vaishno Devi

Now have the darshan of Tantric Bhaironath whose head was severed by Vaishno Devi. When one sees Bhairo , starts to shiver feeling power, such are the rays coming from his face.

*** Bhaironath Darshan , Vaishno Devi

Hawan Kunda at Bhaironath Temple , Vaishno Devi

At the top most point where there are breath taking views , the place was completely covered with Fog. No views but once gain beautiful and pleasant climate. Nice Feeling when one stands here and relaxes.

Extreme Point where one can have breath taking views, Vaishno Devi

We started to Trek down via Hathi Matha route . We were climbing down via stairs as it was much faster . Here I got some views of Katra city from Top.

Katra seen from Hathi Matha Route, Vaishno Devi

Our next destination was Ardhkuwari whose parchi we had already taken. So we headed towards that shrine.

Ardhkuwari from Distance ,Vaishno Devi

A great devotee showing and having tremendous faith

As I told in the previous post that I am going to show you another staunch devotee. Now this guy is climbing Vaishno Mountain like this way full 14 kms on his sleeping on the stairs. This guy sleeps on stairs and other one with him marks the point where he is keeping his finger as shown so that entire body length is covered and then he will start sleeping from that point which is marked. Jay Mata di . Jay Mata ke aise Bhakto ki .

A staunch devotee of Vaishno Devi having ultimate faith and doing hard penance , Vaishno Devi

Then I came at a point where I saw a huge garbage in this route. First I was aghast by seeing the sight. But afterwards observing the men working I came to know that entire waste of the mountain was collected here. And from here it is disposed  out of the mountain.

Waste conglomeration, Vaishno Devi

At Ardhkuwari 

At around 5.30 PM we reached Ardhkuwari. My group number was 470 and the group showing in the screen was 460 . So I really thought that we had chance to visit the cave. But then i came to know that from 5.00 PM to 8.00 PM the pujaris clean the cave and perform Aarti. So my number would come at around 9.00 PM. Then still 5 kms downward Trek it would take more 2 hours. So it would atleast 12.00 AM when we would reach the Hotel and our packing was remaining as next day we had to leave. So we thought of skipping this darshan. We folded hands with reverence by looking at temple kalash and proceeded further.

Reaching Ardhkuwari, Vaishno Devi

At around 7.00 PM we reached Banganga completing our trip. We tired and exhausted. We found a local Maalish wala at the gate of our Niharika Complex. he massaged our legs with different types of oils and balm. This really soothes. One has to do after Trekking. 70 to 80 %  of the pain gets relieved. After that we had dinner in one of the Hotels near by , did packing and went to dose.

Legs Massage at Niharika Complex , Katra, Vaishno Devi

4th August 2012 , Saturday

Next Day we left Katra early in the morning at 7.00 AM towards Jammu in luxury bus. It takes two hours to reach Jammu railway station in the bus. Our Train Swaraj Express to Mumbai was scheduled at 11.15 from Jammu station. We reached Mumbai next day on Sunday at 5.00 PM. Thus finishing our Journey.

My Entire Trip in Short

This will help viewers to plan their trip. Add extra days for  more sight seeing destinations

Day 1 , 26 July , Thursday :- Caught  Golden temple Mail from Mumbai central . 9.25 pm

 Day 2 ,27 July , Friday :-Whole day in train
Day 3 , 28 July , Saturday :- Reached  Amritsar 5.40 AM , Full day Amritsar darshan ( GoldenTemple , Jalian waala Bagh and Wagah Border). Catch Bhatinda Jammu tawi exprees in night to Jammu .
Day 4 , 29 July ,Sunday :- Reach Jammu at 6.15 AM . Proceeded  to Pahalgam 300 kms via car. Stayed overnight in Pahalgam hotel.
Day 5 , 30 , July , Monday :- kept luggage in Hotel in pahalgam and started Amarnath yatra at 6.00 AM morning via HORSES. Reached panchtarni and stayed overnight in Panchtarni.
( via pahalgam-chandanwari-sheshnaag- panchtarhi – sangam marg)
Day 6,31 July ,Tuesday :-  Left Panchtarni Early Morning towards the cave and reached . After having Amarnath darshan in morning come down and stay at hotel in Pahalagam.
Day 7 , 1 August , Wednesday :- Pahalgam sight seeing .
Day 8, 2 August , Thursday :- Pahalgam to Katra 250 kms via car. Stay in katra.
Day 9, 3 August , Friday :- Vaishno Devi darshan
Day 10 , 4 August , Saturday :- morning 11.30 am catch Swaraj express to Mumbai from Jammu tawi via Delhi – Ratlam.
Day 11 , 5 August Sunday :- Reach Mumbai at 5.20 evening.

Just a Short Summary of Statistics on series for those who are interested

( These are approximate figures shown in the dashboard )

Main destinations covered completely  :-  5 Nos. : Amritsar, Wagah Border, Amarnath Cave , Pahalgam and Vaishno Devi

Total number of posts :- 19

Total number of words :- 50915

Total number of photographs :- 407

Average number of words per post :- 2679 words / post

Average number of photos per post :- 21 pictures / post

Post with Maximum Number of words :- 3842 words  AMARNATH YATRA : Amarnath Cave and Ice Shivalinga (Most blissful moment of my life)

Post with Maximum Number of Pictures :-30 pictures   VAISHNO DEVI :- Hotel and Helicopter Booking & Trek to Bhawan

Post with Minimum Number of Words :- 1738 words PAHALGAM : Aru Valley, Deer Park & Mamaleshwar Temple

Post with Minimum Number of Pictures :- 5 pictures MIGHTY JOURNEY TO ALMIGHTY – One example on “HOW LORD CALLS HIS DEVOTEES”

Dear Readers , 

Finally, This Mighty series comes to an end here. Thanks for reading, commenting and giving huge and tremendous support here. 

My only aim to write is that  this series is useful to people who wants to visit any of these places . I hope so you have enjoyed this as I have while writing. After finsihing this series I am feeling the same pain as I have after completing the yatra . YEH DIL MAANGE MORE

Will be coming soon with fresh series on any of place where Omkaar ( Almighty ) has performed his Leela. Till then 

Jai Bhole

( *** sign  :-   denotes that pictures are taken from free download section of Maa Vaishno Devi’s official website

Dear Readers if you want to read my other Yatras with more pictures PLEASE CLICK BELOW












  • Tx Vishal for this virtual tour of the Bhawan and Mata Vaishno Devi.
    The entire series is very informative and you have covered everything, which will definitely useful, including tips.

    We also had a very nice memory of the place and your post reminds me the those few days once again. Statistics at the last is unique in nature…good to know

    Look forward to your next trip.

    • Thank you Amitava very much for continuously reading and supporting on my yatra . I know I was very slow but I wanted to write this one thorough detail and passion. I want to feel what will happen when i will read this journey after 10 years .

      Many authors asked me about the statistics , so that is the reason I mentioned.

  • Mukesh Bhalse says:

    It was an overwhelming post. The description, the pictures everything was exceeding expectation. In a pic you are really looking fully exhausted. In new profile picture you are looking dashing. So the Maha post came to the end.


    • Thanks Mukesh ,

      I wish Baba calls you atleast once in lifetime for Shivabhakt family like you to Amarnath so that you also feel the divine power and see natural beauty here in Kashmir. Yes Maha series comes to end.


  • Ritesh Gupta says:

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  • Vishal jee thanks for such a wonderful account of “mata ke darbar” kee yatra. You took me there with your words itself. It has been many years since we have been there. I hope mata will call us soon.
    Keep writing. thanks a lot.

  • SilentSoul says:

    Vishal, the whole series was really very interesting and informative. You have gone there for the first time, but you have explained everything like a seasoned visitor there. Even small small things are not missed.

    I have gone to Vaishno devi 7/8 times, but never gone to Bhairon temple due to fatigue.

    Congrats for finishing this grand yatra successfully and thanks for writing this beautiful travelogue which will be useful to many new visitiors

    Bam Bam Bholey and Jai Mata Di

  • ram dhall says:

    Thanks for taking us to the Holy Vaishno Mata Shrine. Aapne Mata ji ke sakshaat darshan kara diye.

    Needless to say that this series is a collector’s item and would be remembered for long.

    Would be looking forward to your next write up.

    Best wishes and God’s blessings.

  • AUROJIT says:

    Hi Vishaal,

    About the post – The article is as descriptive and informative as the others from you. Furthermore, the information has been appropriately supported by the pics – Bhaint shop, sigh boards, Mata and of course ‘Fully exhausted me’ , does one need any more words ? :-)

    About the Mighty series – This was a wonderful and engrossing series. Any traveller to Amarnath, Vaishno Devi or Srinagar would gain a lot from reading this. And yes, taking all the pains to write this entire series wherein others may benefit – I salute the Ghumakkar spirit….

    Keep writing,

    Thanks, Auro.

  • Nandan Jha says:

    Take a bow Vishal.

    It is amazing to believe that in a matter of 11 days, you were able to cover so many places, braving the heat of Ambarsar and then the chill of Kashmir and finally the trek to Ma Vaishno Devi. All this with a family and a senior person in the group. This talks a lot about your own perseverance and character. Jiyo.

    Very inspiring and true blue Ghumakkari. Wishing you luck and good times.

  • Mahesh Semwal says:

    enjoyed your entire series !!!

  • kamlesh Tayade says:

    dear VISHAL….
    I am planning to seek blessings from Mata in the coming months..iwas literally opening too many searches in the past days and ultimately landed on your blog ..
    Such a simple and informative series u have written and the photograph were too AGood…it gives one an overlaying idea. i was just amazed by the no. of photographs you posted and they take u to a virtual tour.
    thanks dear..
    Jai Mata Di/////

  • Ramona Parmar Shahdeo says:

    Hey Vishal,

    It was indeed a very informative account of the journey to the Holy Temple. I was actually looking for a blog like that as had many queries regarding a lot of things. Had last visited the Shrine when i was in Class 6th with my parents when my Dad, an army officer, was posted in Jodia..Things must have changed a lot since then..Would be visiting the shrine on the 20th of this month with my husband and mom in law. Have booked the copter service but got to know later that if your return falls the next day then you are not entitled to the VIP passes..Anyways a lot of my queries got solved here…Keep it going. Jai Mata Di !!!!

    • Shom says:

      Hi Ramona,

      Can you please give details of your helicopter travel – both ways? I am more interest to know whether the battery operated vehicle can also be availed from SanchiChat – the helicopter drop one. What would be the timing/frequency for this?
      We have a booking for 14:10 hrs. I need this for my mother for whom walking is not an option. She would also not take a doli.
      What is other options available for going to Vhairon temple as well? Any battery vehicle would be preferred.


  • ajay asthana says:

    Mata ke darshan se sabka ho kalyan mari yahi kamna hai ki mata ka darshan every year pure privar ke sath ho mata ji ki jai mata sabka kalyan kare isi mangal kamna ke sath jai mata di

  • ramona says:

    Dear Shom,

    Hey ! Actually when we went for our scheduled visit , the weather turned bad and the copter service was unavailable due to that. So me and my husband walked the 13 kms to the Shrine whereas my mom in law took the palenquin which i would suggest for your Mom too although u say she wont take it. The palenquin people took 4000 INR from us for to and fro. Yeah as for the battery operated vehicle i did see it but not much info on it unfortunately. Do try and start your walk uphill around evening as day time would make u more tired due to the sun. I would suggest you rest for a while once u reach Mata’s Bhawan and then start for Bhairon Dev. U can take a horse ride to it if u want from the Bhawan or may be a horse ride to both from the starting point to Bhawan and Bhairon Dev. I know i havent been able to help much but i wish you and your family a blessed visit to Mata’s abode. Stay blessed and good luck for the visit. Jai Mata di !

  • Hitesh Mathur says:

    I want to know how much time it will take to travel from bhawan to bhairon ji temple??? My parents are going in September.
    Thanks in advance.

    • Approximately 2 hours Hitesh jee

    • Shom says:

      Bhairon is 2km from spot Bhawan Temple. From my past experience, after 12km of walk exertion, it took close to 1hr.
      But in my recent visit in April 2015, along with my parents, it took close to 2hrs; that’s coz my mother had swollen feet but still wanted to walk. So we were walking dead slow; literally less than 6 inches a step.
      Just to highlight, here the path is slightly more inclined. Sports shoes are must.

  • Naresh Sehgal says:

    for a normal trekker it will take just 40 minutes to cover the distance of 1.5 Km. (Not 2Km)

  • SP says:

    During lean season, what is the average depth of water inside old cave?Is it risky? Any idea about it.

  • Dinesh says:

    Jay mata di

  • ajay umeshrao dhanorkar says:

    jay mata di

  • Aashish kumar says:

    Jai mata do sidd ichha purti ma vaisno devi dam atraura patti pratapgarh utter pradesh

  • Deepak Murthy says:

    Really enjoyed reading your blog. Though I have visited Amarnath (via Baltal) once and visited Vaishno Devi many times but reading your blog gave a new experience about these places.

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