Tuesday, September 21, 2010

MataRani Darshan

15th-july-2010: Next morning again we got shifted to Saraswati dham Dharmshala, where we had kept our too many luggages in a cloak room on the time of departure to Pahalgam. Here we have been got allotted 7 beds only in a 15 bed room.
Now we were started preparation for our second inning of Yatra, Which was to “Mata Vaishnav Devi Darshan”. Vaishno Devi Mandir is one of the holiest Hindu temples dedicated to Shakti, located in Trikut Hill of Jammu region. In Hinduism, Vaishno Devi, also known as Mata Rani and Vaishnavi, is a manifestation of the Mother Goddess. The temple is near the town of Katra, in Udhampur district. It is one of the most revered places of worship in Northern India. The shrine is located at a height of 5300 feet on the holy Trikuta Hills of the Shivalik Hill Range and a distance of approximately 14 kilometres from Katra. Million of pilgrims visit the temple every year and is the second most visited religious shrine in India, after Tirumala Venkateswara Temple. The Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board maintains this shrine. A rail link from Udhampur to Katra is being built to facilitate pilgrimage.
Here I requested daddy to take rest, because that time he was not well and fit for trekking. He was suffering from stultification and he got agreed on that. Then we only 9 people have to go for darshan. In evening by 5 pm we started from Dharmshala for Jammu bus stand we had to catch a bus for Katra. Katra is around 46 km from Jammu and frequent buses are there from the Jammu Bus stand. We caught a bus for katra at bus stand which departed from Jammu by 6.30 pm. We reached Katra at around 8.30 pm. Quickly Ranjan went to Shrine board counter received Yatra slip for all of us. After having Aloo Paratha to recharge our self at a Dhaba we started for the trip by 9.30 pm. Except me and Ranjan it was the first trip of Mata Vaishnav Devi Darshan for all.
We started rhyming Jai Mata Di…..the total distance was 13.5 kms. Different stalls were there and after some distance there was “Vishram Sthall” where anyone can get relaxes a bit if tired. We had fixed the target to reach on top by 2 am. There was lot of security check on the way. Just before ArdhKuwariwhich a place known as Indraprashtha. From here a new way have been made which reduces the distance as compared to the original way. It was not there when I came here first time in 1992. Now days there are battery operated vehicles which can be boarded by old age or people with medical problems. Here again we have been got separated into 2-3 groups. Ranjan, Sushil and Ajit were walking with me. However we walked all the way, enjoying the lights of Katra city from top.
We couldn’t enjoy natural beauty because it was night. At some places the rain was making it worse. Anyways we reached “Bhawan” at around 2 am and started a long wait for other team mates. When we spent 2 hours behind waiting them Ranjan asked me to get bath and darshan and after that we’ll wait for them. But I was not in mood to go for darshan with incomplete team. When it passed 3 hours means 5 pm then I lost my control over my sleep and went for bath with Doctor Ashok, Ajit and Sushil. After bath we put all the leather shoes, belts, mobiles cameras and metal items in a locker. To bare foot without shoes or sandals was too difficult there and it felt as our ankles have been cut. Anyhow again we reached at the main gate of Bhavan where Ranjan was waiting for remaining members. When we reached there we found all members presence, so we got happy. And quickly we send Ajit and Ranjan to getting Prasad for all of us. Meanwhile remaining people who had just reached there went for bath. The Darshan was supposed to close from 6.00 to 8.00 am because of Aarti. And after that one hour darshan was only for VIPs. So we had to get darshan before 6.00 am.
By the time we got darshan by around 5.45 am. Our feet were already paining; in between we had Idli Sambar at a restaurant outside of main gate. Now we had to climb a steep height of 6 km for Bhairavnath Temple. It is believed that if you do not cover the Bhairav Nath Temple the Vaishno Devi journey is not yet finished. After breakfast on a steady pace we kept on moving towards Bhairavnath temple. It was height winding narrow path up to Bhairavnath temple. I was counting each km and waiting when that time will come when we will reach at the temple. Actually we were too tired and sleepless since last 2 nights. At Shankar Hotel we had got only 3 hours to sleep. After Baltal, we had not slept well. Anyhow we reached at Bhairavnath temple and within 2 hours got darshan by 10 am. And soon we started back for Katra. We could not have the darshan of "Ardhkuwanri" as very less energy was left in us to stand in any queue. There were some stairs also which we took to reduce the distance. 
Finally we reached the starting point at around 5.00 pm. We again had some meals there and caught a bus for Jammu. Soon the moving bus given a nice shake of our body and this shake induced us into sleep. We were not aware about how it spent 2 hours into that bus and we reached Jammu. At Dharmshala daddy was waiting for us. When we reached we all took a fresh bath and without dinner retired to bed. That night we slept like buffalo. 

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