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How to reach Vaishno Devi

Vaishno Devi is a renowned Hindu pilgrimage site in Jammu and Kashmir, India. Please read below article on how to reach Vaishno Devi.  The shrine attracts millions of devotees who undertake a 13-kilometer trek from Katra to reach the shrine. Vaishno Devi is located in the Trikuta Mountains. The pilgrimage is considered highly sacred and fulfilling. The shrine complex comprises various temples and caves. Facilities like accommodations and food are available for pilgrims. It is important to stay updated on travel advisories before planning a visit.

how to reach vaishno devi

how to reach vaishno devi

How To Reach Vaishno Devi By Train

To reach Vaishno Devi by train, you can book train tickets from your nearest railway station to Katara or Jammu Tawi.  Prefer Katara as Katra is the closest railway station to Vaishno Devi.

How To Reach Vaishno Devi By Flight

You can book a flight from your nearest airport to Jammu, the nearest airport to Vaishno Devi. The flight duration is approximately 2-3 hours. From Jammu, you will need to proceed to Katra, the base camp for Vaishno Devi.  Book flight tickets in advance for cheaper air tickets.

How To Reach Vaishno Devi By Car

Once you reach Delhi from your city.  There are multiple routes to travel by car from Delhi to Katra. Here are two commonly used routes:

Route 1: Delhi – Ambala – Jalandhar – Pathankot – Katra

  • Start from Delhi and take NH44 towards Ambala.
  • Continue on NH44 and pass through Jalandhar.
  • From Jalandhar, follow NH44 to Pathankot.
  • From Pathankot, take the road towards Katra.
  • This route is approximately 650 km and takes around 12-14 hours, depending on traffic and road conditions.

Route 2: Delhi – Chandigarh – Hoshiarpur – Pathankot – Katra

  • Start from Delhi and take NH44 towards Chandigarh.
  • From Chandigarh, take NH3 and pass through Hoshiarpur.
  • Continue on NH3 to reach Pathankot.
  • From Pathankot, take the road towards Katra.
  • This route is slightly longer than Route 1, approximately 680 km, but offers better road conditions in some sections.

Both routes have good connectivity and are well-maintained. However, it’s important to check the current road conditions and consider the traffic situation before starting your journey. It’s also advisable to plan for breaks and rest along the way to ensure a comfortable and safe trip.

How to reach Vaishno Devi from Jammu

Arrive at Jammu Tawi Railway Station

You can book train tickets from your nearest railway station to Jammu Tawi.  Book your tickets in advance.

Travel to Katra from Jammu Tawi Railway station

Katra, base camp for the Vaishno Devi pilgrimage, is approximately 43 kilometers away from Jammu Tawi.  Below are few options for how to reach Katra from Jammu:

  • By Train: Indian Railways operates a train from Jammu Tawi to Katra every 4 hours. Tickets cost ₹110 – ₹650 and the journey takes approximately 2 hours.
  • By Taxi: Outside the railway station, you can find taxis or cabs that can take you directly to Katra. It is a convenient and time-saving option. Reserved taxi cost for 4 seater is approximately 2500/- Rs.
  • By shared cab or bus: Shared cabs or buses are also available from the outside of the railway station. These are more economical options but may take longer due to multiple stops.  Alternatively, JKSRTC operates a bus from Jammu station to Katra every 2 hours. Tickets cost ₹110 – ₹500 and the journey takes 2h.
Bhawan booking and Lockers

Based on your trip schedule, book your stay in advance.  You can book your accommodation through Shrine Board websites.  Dormitory costs for single bed for night is 150/- rupees.  Check in and check out time is 10 AM for all complex.  You can book your accommodation in Jammu, Katra, Adhkuwari, Sanjichhat and Bhawan.  When you book a Dormitory or room, you will get the locker facility however you need to carry your own lock and key.

Registration (Yatra Parchi) and Guidelines

Register at the Yatra Registration Centers in Katra and carry a registration slip. Online registration is available on the Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board’s official website. Online Yatra registration is free of cost. RFID Yatra Access Card is available at Yatra Registration Counter near bus stand Katra, and Vaishnavi Dham Jammu. RFID Yatra Access card is free of cost.

How To Reach Vaishno Devi Bhawan From Katra

There are different trekking options available for reaching Vaishno Devi shrine, each with varying distances. Here are the trekking routes and their respective distances:

Main Trek from Katra

This is the most popular and frequently used trekking route. The total distance is approximately 12 kilometers (7.5 miles). It starts from Katra and goes through various landmarks such as Banganga, Adhkuwari, and Sanji Chhat before reaching the Bhawan (main shrine).

Alternate Trek from Katra
  • There is also an alternate trekking route available, which is slightly longer but offers a different experience.
  • The total distance is approximately 14 kilometers (8.7 miles).
  • It starts from Katra and goes through Adhkuwari, Himkoti, and Sanjhichhat before reaching the Bhawan.
Helicopter and Short Trek
  • If you prefer a shorter trek, you can take a helicopter ride from Katra to Sanjichhat helipad.
  • From the helipad, there is a 2.5-kilometer (1.6 miles) trek to reach the Bhawan.
  • You can book your tickets in advance from Shrine Board Website
Ponies (horse) and Palanquins (Palki)
  • If you find it challenging to undertake the trek on foot, you can hire ponies or palanquins (a seat carried by porters) from Katra. These options can be hired at the base and will take you to the shrine.
Booking battery-operated cars from Adhkuwari
  • You can book battery-operated cars from Adhkuwari to Bhawan, however it can be challenging as the counter may have specific opening hours and waiting period.
Lockers at Bhawan

At Vaishno Devi Bhawan, there are locker facilities available for pilgrims to safely store their belongings. These locker facilities are provided to ensure the convenience and security of the visitors. Pilgrims can deposit their bags, mobile phones, cameras, and other valuables in these lockers before proceeding for darshan (worship) inside the temple.

The locker facilities are located near the Bhawan complex and are managed by the shrine authorities. Pilgrims are required to pay a nominal fee to avail themselves of the locker services. The fee may vary, so it is advisable to check the current rates at the time of your visit.

It is recommended to carry only essential items with you during the climb to Vaishno Devi and deposit the rest in the lockers. This helps in ensuring a hassle-free and comfortable darshan experience without the burden of carrying extra belongings.

Do keep in mind that the availability of lockers may be subject to capacity limits and high demand during peak pilgrimage seasons. It’s a good practice to arrive early or check with the shrine authorities for any specific instructions or guidelines related to the locker facility.

Shrine Visit
  • Upon reaching the Vaishno Devi shrine, be prepared for a waiting period, especially during peak season.
  • Entry into the inner sanctum is determined by the registration slip obtained beforehand.
  • The cave itself comprises three natural rock formations immersed in water, with a marble platform for easy access.
  • The main complex, known as the Bhawan, offers various facilities such as accommodation, vegetarian restaurants, medical services, blanket stores, cloakrooms, and shops selling religious offerings and souvenirs.
Bhairav Temple visit after Vaishno Devi Darshan
  • Reach the main shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi.
  • After completing darshan at the main shrine, exit the Bhawan complex.
  • From the exit gate, follow the path that leads towards the Bhairav Temple. The path is well-marked, and there are signboards to guide pilgrims.
  • The distance from the Vaishno Devi Shrine to the Bhairav Temple is approximately 2.5 kilometers (1.6 miles).
  • The trail to the Bhairav Temple involves descending a bit and then ascending towards the temple.
  • The trek to the Bhairav Temple is considered moderately challenging and requires some physical stamina.
  • The Bhairav Temple is dedicated to Bhairav Nath, a fierce form of Lord Shiva. It is believed that the visit to the Bhairav Temple completes the pilgrimage to Vaishno Devi.
  • After darshan at the Bhairav Temple, pilgrims can retrace their steps back to the Vaishno Devi Shrine or continue their journey as per their plans.
Recommended Seasons and Timing
  • The peak season for the pilgrimage is during the summer (May-June), New Year, and Navratri months.
  • Avoid the walk during the monsoon (late July to early September) due to slippery roads.
  • December and January are cold; it is advisable to start the walk at dawn.
Packing Tips
  • Due to temperature differences between Katra (2500 ft) and Vaishno Devi (5200 ft), pack accordingly.
  • For the monsoon season, bring a raincoat and an umbrella in case of rainfall during the climb.
  • During winter, carry heavy woolens, wind-cheaters, caps, gloves, and comfortable shoes.
  • Free blankets are available during the climb.
  • Vaishno Devi is a renowned Hindu pilgrimage site in Jammu and Kashmir, India.
  • The shrine is located in the Trikuta Mountains and attracts millions of devotees.
  • The pilgrimage involves a 13-kilometer trek from Katra to the shrine.
  • The shrine complex consists of various temples and caves.
  • Accommodation and food facilities are available for pilgrims.
  • Travel advisories should be checked before planning a visit.
  • Reaching Vaishno Devi by train: Book tickets to Katra or Jammu Tawi, with Katra being the closest station.
  • Reaching Vaishno Devi by flight: Fly to Jammu and then proceed to Katra.
  • Reaching Vaishno Devi by car: Take routes from Delhi to Katra, either via Ambala, Jalandhar, Pathankot or via Chandigarh, Hoshiarpur, Pathankot.
  • Book accommodation in advance through Shrine Board websites.
  • Register at Yatra Registration Centers in Katra and carry a registration slip.
  • Trekking routes from Katra to the shrine: Main Trek (12 km), Alternate Trek (14 km), Helicopter and Short Trek (2.5 km), Ponies and Palanquins.
  • Locker facilities are available at the Bhawan complex for pilgrims to store their belongings.
  • Shrine visit involves a waiting period, especially during peak seasons.
  • To visit the Bhairav Temple after the shrine, follow the marked path from the exit gate.
  • Recommended seasons are summer, New Year, and Navratri months, while the monsoon season should be avoided.
  • Pack accordingly for the weather and consider carrying rain gear during the monsoon and heavy woolens during winter.

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