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Katra Town, lying in the foot of Trikuta Mountains, 48 kms. from Jammu, serves as the base camp for visiting the famous shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi, which is approachable on foot along a 13 kms long well laid footpath. Every year, more than 4.5 million pilgrims pass through Katra on their way to the holy shrine. The cave shrine of Mata Vasihnodeviji or Trikuta Bhagwati (alt: 5,200 ft.) has been a beacon of faith and fulfilment to millions of devotees from all over the world. The pilgrimage to the Shrine holds great significance for the pilgrims.

Everyday of the year throngs of people surge up the steep pathways that cut across the Trikuta hillsides for mile after mile. This show of faith is finely interwoven with th cultural strands of the Indian subcontinent, and these pathways have been trod on for many centuries now. Popular belief holds that anybody who walks the Himalayan trail to the goddesses's abode to ask for a boon rarely goes back disappointed. Whatever be it, a new enterprise or a forthcoming examination, marriage or birth, the devout look up to the Mata For blessings and guidance. There are many who journey year after year to pay obeisance regardless of their faith or belief, creed or class, caste or religion.

What To Remember :

Obtain a yatra slip only from the yatra registration counter at the Tourist Reception Centre at the Katra bus stand and nowhere else. Without an authentic yatra slip, crossing of the Ban Ganga check post is not permitted. 
Fellow pilgrims are bound to you by their faith in the Mata. Avoid playing transistors or tape recorders too loudly or creating blockage or hindrances in the passages meant for circulation of the yatris.

Qualified doctors are available at the Primary Health Centre, Katra and at the dispensaries at Adhkawari and Bhawan, round the clock. They are also available at the evening clinic at Katra bus stand; open 2 p.m to 8 p.m. Medical Aid Centres run by the SMV Shrine Board provide necessary assistance to the pilgrims at the Katra bus stand, Banganga and Sanji Chhat.

Upon reaching the Bhawan, a group number is allotted to the pilgrims at the slip ('parchi') counter against the yatra slip issued at Katra. The yatri is required to stand in queue at Gate Number 2 till the announcement of the group's number is made to proceed to the sanctum sanctorum.

Sight Seeing & Excursion :

Aghar Jitto :
Just 5 km away from Katra is Aghar Jitto, the Shrine of Baba Jitto, a devotee of Mata Vaishno Devi and a revolutionary who led a campaign against the feudal order. According to legends, a dip in the holy spring water, flowing in front of the shrine, does miracles to pre-natal women for safe delivery of children. A path from here leads to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi. 

Dera Baba Banda :
At about 30 kms from Katra lies this major Hindu-Sikh pilgrimage centre. Baba Banda Bairaagi was Guru Gobind Singh's favourite 'Saint-soldier', who had the gurudwara constructed on the banks of river Chenab, where he spent his last days.

Baba Dhansar :
Located 10 kms from Katra (1 km on foot) is Baba Dhansar, a beautiful and cool picnic spot. Here, a huge spring gushes out of the mountainside in a thick grove of trees and forms a number of small waterfalls before flowing into the holy Banganga. Next to the spring in a small grove in the rock face is a naturally formed 'Shivling' on which droplets of water fall naturally all the year round. A major 'mela' (fair) is held here during Shivratri.

Shiv Khori :
This holy cave is nearly a kilometre long and houses a 4 ft high, naturally formed 'Shivling'. It is considered second only to the shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi in religious importance. There are stalactites & stalagmites dripping milky limestone water from the ceiling. Situated at a distance of about 100 kms from Jammu and about 75 kms from Katra, Shiv Khori hosts a major fair on Shivratri day every year.  


Vaishno Devi Package

 
 
Accessbility :
Air : Nearest Airport is at Jammu (56kms). Indian Airlines operates scheduled services between Jammu & Delhi and Jammu & Srinagar/Leh. Select One Flight Schedules Seat Availability Arrival/ Departure PNR Status Fares. Jet Airways also operates regular services between Jammu & Delhi and Jammu & Srinagar. 
Road : Jammu is on National Highway 1-A and is connected by the highway network to all parts of the country. Besides the J&K State Road Transport Corporation (J&K SRTC) the road transport corporations of Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Chandigarh. Some important road distances from Jammu are: Amritsar (243 kms), Chandigarh (436 kms), Delhi (586 kms), Katra (48 kms), Srinagar (305 kms), Manali (428 kms), Patnitop (108 kms), Mansar (62 kms). 
Local Transport : The distance from Katra town to Vaishno Devi (Durbar) is 13 kms, which has to be traversed by pony, 'dandi' or on foot. 'Pithus' (coolies) are also available.
 
 
   
   
 
 
 
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