Vaishno Devi, one of the most widely visited shrines in India, sees an annual footfall of over 8 million people from across the globe. But very few people are aware of the fact that a trip to this holy shrine is incomplete without the darshan at the Bhairon temple. Bhairon Mandir, located at a distance of 1.42 kilometers from Bhawan is situated atop an adjacent hill involves a steep climb, which can be undertaken either on foot or on ponies or palanquins. It is the highest point of the entire climb and is situated at an altitude of 6619 feet.
Legend has it that once a devotee of Mata Vaishnodevi, Sridhar organized a Bhandara (Community meal) in which the whole village and Mahayogi Guru GorakshNathJi along with all his followers including Bhairon Nath were invited as it was wish of Mata Vaishnodevi to invite MahaYogi Guru Goraksh NathJi.
Guru Gorakshnath visited a Bhandara along with more 300 disciples including the Bhairon Nath. Bhairon Nath was amazed by seeing the power of divine mother. He wanted to test her powers. For this, he asked Shiv Avatari Guru GorakshnathJi for his permission. Guru Gorakshnath said I do not recommend but still if you wanted to test, go ahead.
Bhairon Nath on locating the ashram started observing Vaishnavi secretly. He was enchanted by Vaishnavi’s extraordinary beauty and began to pester Vaishnavi to marry him. She tried her best to keep him away, but on failing to do so, she decided to flee away into the mountains to continue her tapasaya. Bhairon Nath however refused to give up and chased her down to her location. The goddess after halting at (present day) Banganga, Charan Paduka, and Adhkwari, finally reached the holy cave shrine. When Bhairon Nath continued to follow her despite the goddess trying to avoid a confrontation, the goddess was compelled to kill him. Bhairon Nath met his ultimate fate when the goddess, just outside the mouth of the cave, beheaded him. The severed head of Bhairon fell with force on a distant hilltop. Bhairon Nath upon his death realised the futility of his mission and prayed to the deity to forgive him. The almighty Mata felt mercy and gave him a boon that every devotee of the goddess would have to have the darshan of Bhairon after having the darshan of the Goddess and only then would the yatra of a devotee be complete. Hence it wouldn’t be wrong to say that Bhairon mandir is the final link of the pilgrimage.