In order to reach the Vaishno Devi Shrine, one has to reach the Katra town, lying in the foot of Trikuta mountains. Katra serves as the Base camp for pilgrims who visit Vaishno Devi. It is located in Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir state. Katra town offers plenty of hotels, guest houses, restaurants, dhabas, fast-food joints that fit all kinds of budgets. Katra town is located at a distance of around 45 Kms from Jammu which is the winter capital of state Jammu and Kashmir. Jammu is well connected by air,rail and road with rest of India. It takes around 1:30 hrs in private car/taxi and around 2 hrs in bus to reach Katra from Jammu. Distance of Vaishno Devi from Major Cities is provided in here. Passengers using Air or Rail as a mode of travel have necessarily to break their journey at Jammu and from thereon select an alternative mode of transport to Katra.
Katra to Vaishno Devi Bhawan
Katra serves as the base camp. From here a trek of around 12 kms takes a pilgrim to the Holy Shrine. One can undertake this trek on foot or on horses/ponies or on palanquins (palkies or dolies). While most of the pilgrims prefer to go on foot, some who find it difficult to negotiate the climb hire a pony or a palanquin.
All yatris after Reaching Katra has to register themselves before starting the yatra. Yatris can register themselves at counters provided by Vaishno Devi shrine Board at Bus Stand katra. Yatris get Registration slip/Yatra parchi and have to cross the first Check Post located at Banganga (around 1.5 kilometers from the Yatra Registration Counter ((YRC) within 6 hours of the issue of the slip, failing which his slip is confiscated at the Check Post and Yatris then again required to get fresh Yatra Parchi.
Yatra Parchi is also available online at Vaishno Devi shrine Board site http://maavaishnodevi.org at a nominal fess of Rs 50/-. Pilgrims can book Yatra Parchi at least one month before start of Yatra.
However, during the peak season and Navratras, the number of yatri reaching Vaishno Devi is far in excess than permissible limit. In such a situation, the yatries are then wait at Katra itself. No yatra Slip is issued during Waiting period and Yatris have to wait till next morning or till clerance of rush. This is usally seen in the month of May and June particularly weekeneds.
Pilgrims coming from outside India are advised to book their flights to Jammu and hotels at least 3 months in advance to get lowest fares for airline tickets and hotel rooms. And if traveling during Navratai season, it is suggested to make reservations 6-3 months in advance.
|New Delhi||635 Kms
|Jammu is the nearest airport from Katra. Jammu airport is well connected with many major airports in the country, including Delhi, Srinagar, Chandigarh, Mumbai and Leh. Almost all air service providers operate regular flights from Jammu. You can hire private car/taxi to Katra which is easily available.|
|Jammu is the nearest railway station from Katra. Jammu is connected by Rail to almost all the major cities of India.It is connected to other parts of country on broad gauge and numerous passenger trains ply from various parts of the country to Jammu. In the peak season of summer and other holidays, the Railways introduce special trains for Jammu for the comfort of the Yatris. Many superfast trains also ply on this route and one can reach Jammu overnight from New Delhi.|
|Katra is well connected with rest of India through Road network. Regular bus services from all major North Indian cities are available for Jammu as well as Katra. Many standard and deluxe buses of various State Road Transport Corporations as well as private operators connect Jammu and Katra with important cities and towns of North India.|