For the last few years, it has been impossible not to notice the giant Durga statue being constructed on Chhatikara-Vrindavan Rd. on the outskirts of Vrindavan. The 11+ acre Maa Vaishno Devi Ashram, home to the giant statue, was inaugurated in May of this year, but last week an official press release was published to inform everyone about Maa Vaishno Devi:
Vrindavan gets a new diety: Tallest Maa Vaishno Devi statue comes up in Lord Krishna’s birthplace.
For most people the mention of Maa Vaishno Devi conjures images of queues of people clambering up innumerable steps for darshan in the foot hills above Jammu to the famed shrine of the goddess Vaishno Devi. It is a pilgrimage which lakhs of Hindus swear by. Now a devotee is recreating the Magic of Maa’s darshan in the land of another popular diety – in Lord Krishna’s playground, Vrindavan in Mathura (UP).
Barely 100 kms from the capital of India, Mathura is a fabled land and inextricably linked to the child-god Krishna who is the lynch-pin of the Mahabharata and inter alia of the holy book of the Hindus, the Gita. “Bringing the tallest image of Maa Vaishno Devi to Vrindavan was bound to create interest among the devotees,” says J.C. Chaudhry, Managing Trustee of the Trust and a devout Maa Vaishno Devi devotee who purchased a small piece of land at Vrindavan in May 2003, with the intent of following “Maa’s directions” as he puts it.
“Our project is an attempt to expand the ‘MaahiMaa’ of Maa to other parts of the country and we have set up an Ashram in Maa’s name in Vrindavan ” Maa Vaishno Devi Ashram” which has two Dharmshalas, one spiritual hall, a meditation centre, a yoga centre, a library, a dispensary and a large langar hall,” he added.
The highlight of the Ashram of course remains the 140+ ft tall image of the eight-armed Maa riding a 50ft tall Lion with Hanumanji’s Statute infront of Maa with folded hands seeking Maa’s blessings.. A Mandir having Asthdhatu’s Murti (6 ½ “) tall in Maa’s honour is below the statue, within the precincts of this 11-acre project.
Vaishno Devi in Katra near Jammu is one of the top most visited pilgrimage sites in India with over 7 million visitors on average annually. The rush during auspicious days (Navratras) is often too much for the administration to manage even though there have been huge improvements in the facilities in and around Katra area for the comfort of devotees.
J.C. Chaudhary feels that inspite of this, thousands of willing devotees are unable to either take the time off or incur the expenses involved to make the trip as often as they would want. “Our effort is to bring Maa’s darshan closer to lakhs of people and Vrindavan provided the perfect setting, being a place of spiritual interest to all Hindus and a supportive environment for such an activity”.
The Maa Vaishno Devi Ashram in Vrindavan was inaugurated on 22nd May 2010 by Honorable Dr. Karan Singh, Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha.
This press release was taken from Online PR Media.