IntroductionMata Vyshano Devi temple, Katra is a very famous pilgrim place and many tourists from all over the world will be visiting this temple. A full illustration about this temple and the details were discussed in my other article titled A visit to Mata Vaishno Devi temple
When we go all the way from far off places to visit this temple, we should plan to visit other important places in nearby places. A two day and one night may be required for completing our visit to Vaishno Devi temple after reaching Katra. From Delhi there are flights to Jammu and train services are also available and hence we can start our tour from Jammu. There are flights to Delhi and trains are also available from Amritsar. So one can plan a trip for 6 days after reaching Jammu. One can cover the following places in addition to Vaishno Devi.
From Jammu, by road, various vehicles are available based on the number of passengers. There are Innovas, Sumos, tempo travelers and buses available for rent on per day basis. A tempo traveller which is 12 seaters will charge about Rs.5000/- per day. So after completing the visit of Jammu, we can continue our journey by road to Vaishno Devi. From there the other four temples can be visited and finally we can reach Amritsar. After completing our tour and local site seeing at Amritsar we can leave the vehicle and can proceed to Delhi.
Jammu This is the 'winter capital of J&K. It is also known as 'the city of temples'. Jammu City is a very popular tourist place in India. This city is having magnificent hills and green valleys. Jammu city is a very good tourist place for the people of all ages. Amar Mahal, Bahu Fort and Garden, Mubarak Mandi Palace, Mansar Lake, Akhnoor and Salal Dam and Lake are worth visiting. The religious places of importance to visit are Purmandal, Dera Baba Banda and the Raghunath Temple.
Mata Chintpurni Devi TempleThis temple is situated on a hilltop in the Una District of Himachal Pradesh in India. The height of the hill is about a kilometre. The Markandeya Purana mentioned the history of this place. Maa Bhagawati with her two colleagues, Jaya and Vijaya had a big battle with Asuras. In that war, these three killed almost all the Asuras and swallowed their blood completely. But their thrust for blood has not satisfied. So to satisfy the colleagues the Maa Bhagwati cut her own head and offered her own blood. Some people believe that Maa Bhagawati had managed blood to come out from her head from three places. Jaya and Vijaya drank blood from one place each and from the third place the Maa herself consumed the blood of her own. So this Goddess is famous as Chinnamastika which means without a head. This temple had Mahadev's temples on all the four sides. The people of this area believe that the Goddess will fulfil all the wishes of them and that is why she was called Chintapurni Devi.
Naina Devi TempleIt is a holy place which is dedicated to Shri Naina Devi. This Goddess is also an incarnation of Maa Shakti. The temple is located on the top of Shivalik Mountain in Bilaspur district of Himachal Pradesh. A ropeway is available to reach the hilltop or four wheelers are also available. Finally, the devotee has to walk about 2 Km to reach the temple. There will be images of three deities in the main temple. The left side image is that of Maha Kali. The image on the right side is that of Lord Ganesh and the middle one is of Naina Devi.
Chamunda Devi TempleChamunda Devi Temple is located at a distance of about 10 Kms from Palampur in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh on the banks of Baner River. This ancient temple is believed to be of the 16th century. Chamunda Devi is another form of Durga or Shakti. This is an abode of 'Shiva and Shakti' and famous as 'Chamunda Nandikeshwar Dham'. Besides the temple here, there are stairs and we can go to the cave of Lord Shiva by following these Stairs. In this scoop, there is a Shiva lingam. The temple is on one side of the river Ban Ganga River and the other side is a cremation ground.
Jwalamukhi Temple:This is believed to be one among the 51 Sakthipithas of the country. This place is located at about a distance of 30 Kms to the South of the Kangra Valley in Himachal Pradesh. The great Mughal emperor Akbar visited this place and tried to put off of the flame of the temple. But he was unsuccessful. He understood the power of the Goddess and submitted to the power of the goddess. He presented a gold umbrella. This umbrella turned to the copper umbrella when the donor king tried to look at back it before leaving the premises.
It is believed that the tongue of the Goddess Sati has fallen here when her body was cut into pieces. Here the goddess is manifested like tiny flames that burn through the fissures in the age-old rock. The temple of Jwalamukhi is not having an idol to worship. Inside the Jwalamukhi Temple, there is a pit with a pathway all around. In the walls of the pit, there are two flames coming up. On the walls of the room in 5 various place also flames are visible. There are total seven flames in that main room of the temple. They are called Saraswati, Annapurna, Chandi, Hinglaj, Vindhya Vasini, Mahalakshmi and Mahakali. There are two lions in front of the temple and this temple is known as the temple of the Goddess of Light.
AmritsarThe Golden temple in this city is very famous and attracts a lot of foreigners also. The golden temple with a pond in front of it is the sacred place for Sikhs. The visitors here will be very much getting attracted towards the humble behaviour of the Sikhs and their beliefs towards their religion. The Prasad offered here is very tasty.
About a kilometre from here we will see the Jalianwala Bagh. A huge memorial stone is found here which was constructed in memory of the people who died in the brutal attack of Britishers on Punjabi New year day. Another place to Visit is Rama Teerth temple. This is a very spacious temple built beautifully with marbles. The temple resembles the Golden temple. The place is supposed to be the place where Valmiki has recited the Ramayana and the Sons of Sita, Lava and Kusa, are born.
To end up the tour with a different note one should visit the Wagah Border. It is the only road border crossing between India and Pakistan. It is located at a distance of about 30 km from the Golden Temple. Every day in the evening the ceremony of Beating Retreat and Change of Guard will take place. A team of soldiers from the two countries demonstrate their dedication for their own country. The patriotism will be brought to its peak by the soldiers by their drill among the viewers present there. This parade displays the intense patriotic feel of the armies for their respective countries. By the time we will come out of the place by seeing the commitment of the soldiers, we will have the feeling that we are safe here in the country because of the selfless dedicated people spending day and night in up keeping the security of the country and the people.