Jai Mata Vaishno Devi
Maa Vaishno Devi
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Around 500 mtrs. from Inderprastha and located at an altitude of 4800 feet is Adkuwari. One can get a glimpse of the fluttering flag and temple spires and can hear continuous announcements from the announcement booth much before actually reaching there. Adkuwari is the half way mark on the track as it is situated at a distance of nearly 6 kms. from Katra. The Holy Cave is now nearly 6 km. away. Adkuwari is one of the most important Darshans on the visit, second only to the main Darshans at the Holy Cave.

The term Adkuwari is believed to have come from Adi kumari, which means “The Eternal Virgin”. According to the legend, when Vaishnavi, in the form of a small girl, disappeared from the Bhandaara organized by Pandit Shridhar, she halted at Banganga and Charan Paduka. From there she reached Adkuwari, where, in a small womb shaped cave she meditated and observed spiritual discipline (Tapasya) for nine long months. The exact spot where she is believed to have meditated is located at the right hand side inside the cave and is shaped like a womb. Since Vaishnavi had observed spiritual discipline in a womb shaped cave for a period of nine months, this cave has become popular by the name of Garbh Joon, which has come from the term Garbh Yoni meaning the Womb. It is generally believed that by merely passing through this cave, a devotee’s sins are cleansed and his soul becomes pious again.

When during her meditation She realized that Bhairon Nath had approached the cave in Her search, She created an exit at the other end with Her trident and proceeded towards the Holy Cave.

Since the cave is very narrow, only one person can pass through it at a time. While the entrance is comfortably broad, as one enters further one starts wondering whether it would be possible for him to pass through it or not. A prompt or a nudge from the person waiting behind him, a remembrance of Mata in the hearts and on the lips, and crawl by crawl, one is out of the cave, fully recharged with an energy that definitely belongs to the other world.

Due to the narrowness of the cave, it takes hours together for a yatri’s turn to come to pass through this cave. Not more than 4000 pilgrims can pass through this cave in 24 hours. Thus pilgrims reaching Adkuwari who wish to pass through the cave are issued a group number. Pilgrims are required to take their group numbers and wait outside the queue complex till their group number is announced or displayed. Each group consists of 50 pilgrims. Once the first group of 50 is cleared, the next group number is announced and so on. Upon announcement of the group number, one has to proceed to the queue complex and wait in queue for his turn to enter the cave. There is also a small temple just outside the exit route of the Holy Cave and after passing through the cave one gets the Darshans at this temple before proceeding on the onwards journey. Darshans at Adkuwari include Darshans of the three Supreme Energies in an idol form, those of Nav Durga and Bhakt Hanuman.
Adhkuwari - mata vaishno Devi
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