A small town located at a distance of 60 KM from Jammu town is famous as entry point for Mata Vaishno devi temple. From here the trekking rout of 12 KM to the hill top of Trikut starts. Mata Vaishno Devi resides inside a holy cave.
Mata Vaishno Devi temple and Katra town
Bhawan : This is where the holy cave of Mata Vaishno Devi is located. It is at a distance of 12 KM from Katra town at a height of 5200 ft. Adhkuwari : Nearly half way to Bhawan , from here battery operated vehicles starts. Accommodation is available here. Sanjichat : Helipad at top ( 3 KM from Bhawan ) , height 6200 ft. Ban Ganga : Located at Katra, this is the starting point of the holy track to cave at Bhawan. This is 2 KM from the bus stop / market at Katra.
You can arrive at Katra by train, the railway station name is Shree Mata Vaishno Devi Katra. Station code is SVDK ( SHMATA VD KATRA – SVDK ) . You can also arrive at Jammu railway station code JAT (JAMMU TAWI – JAT ) and travel 60 KM by road to reach Katra. The rail line is extended upto Katra from Jammu and now direct trains from Delhi to Katra is available at different time of the day.
Busses are available from different parts of the nearby states and directly you can reach Katra bus stop.
Flights are available upto Jammu airport and from here taxi and buses are available to take you to Katra town.
Many devotees travel to Katra during summer ( April – May – Jun ) and Dussehra holidays. You can visit Mata Vaishno Devi official web site and check the monthly statistics to know the rush seasons for the Darshan.
How to reach Mata Vaishno Devi temple at Trikut hill
Trek : The full route is open all the time 24 hours in a day with all facilities like, food, medicine , resting place.
Devotees can use horse, Palki , Pithu for their journey. All rate charts are available and ID cards are issued to all service providers.
One way by horse to Bhawan is Rs 1200/-
One way by Palki to Bhawan is Rs 3300/-
Check the exact rate from the display boards. Pay the exact price as per the rate chat ( Plus taxes as applicable ) shown in the display boards at all the places.
As there are different places on the route so the rate changes based on the location.
Duration of the trek to Bhawan
It depends on individual capacity but for a normal person it will take 4 to 6 hours in up direction and 3 to 4 hours in downward direction. Horse will take less time.
By Helicopter from Katra to Sanjichat
Helicopter service is available from Katra to Sanjichat ( 3 KM from Bhawan) and return. You can buy tickets from official website of Mata Vaishno Devi Shrite Board.
Pram for kids are available at Balganga and at Bhawan.
Balganga is at a distance of 2 KM from Bus stop.
Location of Hotels.
As Katra is a small place, hotels are located at the main market, near to railway station and near to helipad. Usually all hotels here offer pickup and drop facility from railway station, helipad and to Ban ganga ( the entry point for trek route to Bhawan) and return.
Yatra Parchi ( travel permit )
Yatra Parchi is checked at all main entry points of the route, this is used to keep track on number of visitors going to temple. Yatra Parchi is available free of cost at counters located at Jamu , Katra railway station , bus stand , Katra Hilipad and some other places.
Around 5000 Yatra Parchi are available for online booking also. Visit https://www.maavaishnodevi.org/ and then click online services and Yatra Parchi to book your Yatra Parchi by submitting your IDs.
Don’t buy Prasad from Katra , Prasad is available at all places and on return you can collect packets.
Carry your Yatra Parchi ( You can generate online ) with you. Maximum for five persons you can generate Online Yatra Parchi.
Don’t carry Baggage’s to the top ( Use the lockers available at Katra) and travel light. You may carry one pair of dress if you have planned to take bath. Blankets are available free of cost ( against returnable deposit of Rs 100 ) at all locations during the Yatra ( journey ) .
Soaps , shampoos , oils are not allowed while taking bath.
Bhairon Baba Temple
Use the passenger ropeway available at Bhawan to travel to Bhairon baba temple located at a height at Bhawan ( Mata Vaishno Devi )
This ropeway is available from 7.45 AM to 4.45 PM
It takes 10 minutes to reach at the top. Both way ticket cost is Rs 100/- ( One hundred only ) .
After darshan you can spend some time at view point available just in front of the temple. You can take a horse from Bhairon temple to Katra ( Banganga)
Total time to visit Bhairon temple and return to Bhawan is 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the rush at ropeway.
Other state Prepaid Mobile Sims will not work in J&K so keep post paid connections or you can buy Jatra special Sims from Katra. If you are arriving at late hours then you may not get shops to buy any Sim and you may have to wait for the shops to open. It is better you take Post paid Sim ( other than J & K state ) connections with you while going for Yatra.
Video shooting is prohibited during the journey. Leave your cameras at Katra.