Vaishno Devi Temple is the most-sought after pilgrimage of the Hindus. The temple is recognized as one of the "Shakti Peeths" of goddess ' Durga'. The abode of the Goddess Vaishno Devi is in the Mountains of Trikuta Hills, in the Jammu and Kashmir State of Northern India. The Goddess resides in a beautiful cave in the form of 3 'Pindis' namely, “Maha Kali”, “Maha Laxmi” and “Maha Saraswati”. The Goddess Maa Vaishno Devi is said to have killed the demon Bhairon nath here. Mata Vaishno Mandir is the holiest shrine of India and it is famous all over the World. This holy shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi which is situated in the folds of mighty 'Tirkuta' Hills' attracts lakhs of devotees from all parts of India and abroad.
Vaishno Devi Shrine is placed at an altitude of 5200 feet above sea level. Vaishno Devi is the second most-visited shrines of India, first being the Tirupati Balaji Temple. The temple is managed and maintained by Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board. Vaishno Devi is regarded as the incarnation of Shakti. Every year, millions of pilgrims visit the holy shrine of Vaishno Devi. There is a legend behind the establishment of this temple.
Vaishno Devi is a hard four-hour (13-km) climb from Katra. The best time to come is March to July, as the rest of the time of the year it can be very cold. The main pilgrimage time is March-April and September-October. In 1986, 1.6 million people came here, or 15 to 20 thousand people a day. The cave ideally handles just 8 or 10 thousand people a day, as only 12 or 15 people are let into the cave at a time. On the full moon day in October and November the line to get into the cave can be 4-km long. It is believed that the arm of Goddess Sati fell at this place.
While passing through a ravine she shot an arrow into the earth from where water gushed out -- this stream came to be known as Banaganga. Charan Paduka, marked by the imprints of her feet, is the place where she rested. The Goddess then meditated in the cave at Adhkawari. It took Bhairon Nath nine months to locate her, the reason why the cave is known as Garbh Joon. Mata Vaishno Devi blasted an opening at the other end of the cave with Her Trident when Bhairon Nath located her.