Vaishno Devi Temple - Must Visit Tourist Place in Northern India

Mata Vaishno Devi is known as the mother who fulfills all wishes and one of the must visit tourist place in North India. The steep 12 kilometer (7.4 miles) trek from the base camp at Katra to the cave temple in the mountains is also one of the hardest tests of devotion. Yet, thousands of disciples - both young and old, undertake this trip every year braving the severe cold or even the persistent monsoon rains.
The pilgrimage to Vaishno Devi begins at Katra. Visitors arrive via train, bus or private taxes at Katra and proceed to the Yatra Registration Counter (YRC). Registration slip in hand, you can begin the trek up to the first check post at Bhanganga. Past the first check post, your next stop is the Bhawan, near the top of Trikoot hill. Once there, make your way to the counter and obtain a Group Number. The time between getting a group number and actually gaining entry will depend on the rush at the time. By issuing group numbers, the Shrine Board is able to regulate the number of visitors, especially during peak summer months and Navratras.

The temple of Mata Vaishno Devi itself enshrines the four pillars of Hindu belief: Dham, Arth, Kaam, and Moksh. The many points that mark the journey to the main temple - Katra, Bhanganga, and Trikoot Hiil, mark the spots where the Mother Goddess herself stopped and prayed.

Vaishno Devi is a spiritual experience. You can experience up close the faith and belief of others - old, handicap, and often in pain, who trek up the mountain for Mata’s darshan, crying Jai Mata Di and motivating each other to walk just a little more.

Unlike other temples, Mata Vaishno Devi’s shrine does not contain any idols or pictures. It is a natural formation of rocks that is shaped like a base and has three heads at the top. These three heads are called ‘Holy Pindis’ and are worshipped as the revelation of Mata Vaishno Devi. This representation of the goddess is immersed in water.

Each of these Holy Pindis is unique, yet together the three exemplify the harmony of goddess, nature and disciple. Each Pindi is distinct in color and texture, but together the three radiate positive energy and hope. The black pindi represents Maha Kali, the goddess of dissolution. Next to her, is the yellow pindi of Mata Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, prosperity and yellow gold. The last, white pindi is of Mata Saraswati, goddess of creation.

You have to dress conservatively while visiting the shrine. Women will also be required to cover their heads with a dupatta (traditional headscarf).

How to reach :

The base is Katra, which is 3 hours from Jammu town. Jammu is well connected with the rest of the country by train and flight. Night buses from North India, especially from Delhi ply regularly as do tourist buses. It is quite some distance from Delhi, and the traffic can get chaotic in katra, so it can be a pain for those who would wish to drive up. The trip wouldn't be complete if one does not check out Patnitop or Jammu as well. Lastly, time your ascent. Lucky ones may get the 2 hour aarti, while others may get stuck waiting for it to finish - and it does snow there at times in winter.

Thirupathi - Must Visit Richest Temple in the World!!

Thirupati - Thirumala Temples is considered to be the richest Hindu temple in the world. and It is a best tourist place near Bangalore and Chennai. Located in the Eastern Ghats of Andhra Pradesh is the grand temple of Lord Vekateshwara or Balaji. The temple is located on the seventh peak, Venkatadri and hence the deity is also known as 'Lord of the Seven Hills'. These hills are said to resemble the shape of the mythical serpent Shesha and so the deity is also referred to as 'Sheshachalavasa'.There are two main ways to reach Tirumala. One way is a road designed for vehicles with a distance of 22 kms and the other, a stepped pathway, 12kms long. It is estimated that on an average, 50,000 pilgrims visit the temple every day and the number exceeds one lakh during the 'Brahmotsavam' festival. And richer is the 'prasadam' - fondly called Tirupati Laddu, made of cashew nuts, raisins, boondi and sugar syrup.

How to reach :
Direct flights to Tirupati are available from Hyderabad and Chennai only.

From Bangalore
Tirupati is 258 km away from Bangalore (via Kolar and Chittoor). The KSTRC and APSRTC runs daily buses between Bangalore and Tirupati.

Mysore-Tirupati Fast Passenger train is runs daily from Mysore to Tirupati via Bangalore. 

From Chennai 
137 km from Chennai (via Red Hills, Utthukottai, Nagalapuram, Puttur and Renigunta)
145 km from Chennai (via Poonamalli, Tiruvallur, Tiruttani, Nagiri and Puttur)
152 km from Chennai (via Red Hills, Tada and Sri Kalahasti).

From Hyderabad
Tirupati is 562 km from Hyderabad (via Kurnool, Cuddapah and Kodur).

APSRTC runs daily buses between Hyderabad and Tirupati. The types of buses are: Express/ Luxury/ Hi-tech/ AC Sleeper Coach.

Places to visit near Tirupati

Sri Kalahasti

Mandalapatti - Feel like Heaven

As you know, Coorg is a favourite tourist destination for every Indian travellers. In Kodagu, Mandalpatti is a  must visit tourist place in Kodagu. And its a magical beauty and an absolutely scenic place in Coorg. Mandalpatti hills are located around 25 km from Madikeri town en route to Abbi falls. A right deviating road just 4 kms before Abbi Falls will lead to Mandalpatti. As bus facility is not available yet taking a cab or own vehicle is advised.
The road is good till the deviation. After that its a little bad in patches. But you will forget that when you see the beauty of the place. There is a forest office where you need to buy a ticket to go up till the view point.. The view is breathtaking from there...

Make sure to take water and food along as there are no shops around there. Once on the top of the hills the beauty of Mandalpatti is unwrapped. Far stretching green mountains and the cool breeze will definitely make one feel like heaven.

If you Planning for one day trip you cover lot of waterfalls also. See my earlier posts about beautiful, breathtaking water falls in Coorg.