Mata Vaishno Devi Temple, one of the most revered shrines of India, is located amidst the misty environs of Jammu. This not only is an acclaimed temple but a celebration of the blessing of Divine Mother of all energies presiding on our Earth. During the months of September to November, known to be the best time to visit Vaishno Devi, Jammu is flocked with spiritual travellers from all over the world. Here is a list of some other temples that you can pay a visit to:
1. Ardh Kuwari Temple (2 km)
Situated midway on the hiking path towards the Vaishno Devi Temple, Ardh Kuwari Cave is a popular shrine visited by the devotees. Legend has it that while Mata Vaishno Devi was in deep meditation for an uninterrupted duration of 9 months, it was at the Ardh Kuwari Temple that she took shelter, which was later built into a shrine. It is believed by the locals that your Vaishno Devi darshan is incomplete without offering prayers at the Ardh Kuwari Temple.
2. Mahamaya Temple (3.2 km)
With an interesting backstory, Mahamaya Temple is not only a religious spot but is also considered a popular tourist attraction of Jammu and an epitome of female strength. Dedicated to Mahamaya, a woman belonging to the Dogra group, this temple is a tribute to she who sacrificed her life, 15 centuries ago, as a revolt against the foreign attackers. To enjoy the lovely scenery surrounding it, the ideal month to explore this temple is also during the best time to visit Vaishno Devi Temple.
3. Geeta Mandir (10.2 km)
In the Reasi district of Jammu, there exists a temple, which is known to be one of the most beautiful gems of the city, Geeta Mandir. Dedicated to the Goddess Shakti, the temple attracts a great number of devotees all throughout the year just like Vaishno Devi Temple. Surrounded by the emerald beauty of the Himalayan foothills, this temple is truly a sight worth beholding. Located en route the Vaishno Devi Temple from Katra, one should visit this temple along the way.
4. Bhairavnath Temple (11 km)
With a number of tales spun around the Bhairavnath Temple, a visit here during your trip to Jammu, is sure to be an interesting one. According to Hindu mythology, Bhairav Nath was a saint who tried attacking Vaishno Devi thinking she is an ordinary girl. However, as soon as the girl took the form of Goddess Durga, he pleaded in front of him asking for forgiveness. Touched from his kind act, the Goddess gave him the boon of freeing himself from the cycle of birth and death. Therefore, the temple has been built to pay respect to saint Bhairavnath.
5. Raghunath Mandir (17.8 km)
During the best time to visit Vaishno Devi, make it a point to take your family to Raghunath Mandir situated on the banks of Tawi River. Dedicated to Lord Rama of the Hindu epic Ramayana, this temple is not only a spiritual getaway, but also an architectural marvel of the city. It is aesthetically adorned with gold plated interiors and carved sculptures, which make it a remarkable sight.