MATA VAISHNO DEVI YATRA
5,200ft. Km: 45
Katra, a small town in the foothills
of Trikuta, serves as the base camp to the Vaishodevi Yatris.
The shrine is approach on foot along a 12km path from Katra.
Every year, nearly 5million pilgrims visit Mata Vaishodevi.
The shrine has been a beacon of faith and fulfillment to
millions of devotees. Popular belief holds that anybody who
walks the trail to the goddess’ abode rarely goes back
disappointed. The holy shrine contains the holiest of holy
Pindis, manifesting the Mata in three forms –Maha Kali, Maha
Lakshmi and Maha Sarasawati. It is believed that the Yatra
is not complete unless the pilgrim visits Bhairon ka Mandir
as well (2.6 km from the main shrine).
Yatris on reaching katra need to get a Parch (registration
sleep) from Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB)
counters near the Bus Stand. Counter No 1for 9 persons & No2
for 10 person and above. Counters are open from 6am to 11pm.
and ponywalas registered with the authorities are available
from Katra to Banganga. The rates from Katra to the shrine and
back are fixed as per the weight of luggage and yatri. Yatris
are advised to check the identities of hired pithu, Palkiwala,
ponywala and note their card numbers / names in case of any
kind of eventuality.
After darshan, one must not miss trying maalish (Body Massage)
at Katra. The maalishwala will loosen your muscles using
different massage methods and a variety of oils.
For your food taste, Katra is no less than a metro city. The
modern Fast Food restaurants fulfil the needs of every yatri –
be it Punjabi, Gujrati, Marathi, Bengali, NRI’s or foreigners.
The food at Dhabas and Restaurants is equally tasteful and
reasonable. In obeisance to Mata, the entire Katra town and
nearby Katra areas are declared vegetarian and alcohol free.
Katra main bazaar is full of Kashmiri handicraft items, all
types of dry fruits, bhaints, gift items and other specialties
from the region.
Helicopter service: -
The helicopter service from Katra to the shrine and back can
be availed at a fixed price. The chopper makes many sorties
during the day subject to weather conditions. The helipad at
katra is just 11/2 kms away from the main market in the