Sunday, September 15, 2013

Katra Travel Guide - Maa Vaishno Devi

Maa Vaishno Devi
Maa Vaishno Devi is a famous Indian Goddess having a temple near Katra, J&K. It is on a mountain and a climb of about 14 km has to be undertaken to reach it. While most devotees prefer to walk both ways, many of them ride a pony for part of or entire journey. There are Palkis available for the elderly. Please note unless you are exremely fit and used to doing daily strenous exercise, it is advisable to avoid climbing steps in the upward journey as this could lead to extreme pain in calves & thighs the next day. A mix of steps and walking could be done during the return journey.

Following are the options to reach Maa Vaishno Devi temple from Katra.
1. Katra to Ardh Kuari - 6 KM.
 a). Walk - 3 hours
 b). Pony - Rs. 380 (as on 20/04/2013)- 1 hour
 c). Pitthu - for luggage or small babies - Rs. 140 - 3 hours

2. Ardh Kuari to Maa Vaishno Devi Bhawan - 6 KM
 a). Walk - 3 hours
 b). Pony - Rs. 380 (as on 20/04/2013)- 1 hour
 c). Pitthu - for luggage or small babies - Rs. 140 - 3 hours
 d). Electric Vans - Only for elderly people or handicap - Rs. 300 - 30 Minutes

3. Katra to Maa Vaishno Devi Bhawan directly - 12 KM
 a). Helicopter - Rs. 800 (as on 20/04/2013) one way - 8 Minutes
 b). Palki - for elderly - approx Rs. 3000 - 6 hours
 c). Walk - 6 hours
 d). Pony - Rs. 700(as on 20/04/2013) - 2 hours
 e). Pitthu - for luggage or small babies - Rs. 260 - 6 hours

4. Maa Vaishno Devi Bhawan to Bhairo Baba temple - 2 KM
 a). Walk - 2 hours
 b). Pony - Rs. 150 - 45 minutes
 c). Pitthu - for luggage or small babies - 2 hours
5. On the way back - Similar are the options on the way back. However, on the way back, you can go directly from the Bhairo Baba temple to Ardh Kuari. You don't need to come back via Bhawan.
The Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board  which manages the temple has its website with extra details.
The best season to visit vaishno devi is during October-March as you can visit the original cave of Mata vaishno devi and accommodation is very cheap also at that time.
Ardh Kuari
Main Bhawan Dormitories available here for you to rest after the climb!
Kal Bhairav Temple
  Other attractions

. The main attraction is the visit to Maa Vaishno Devi temple.
. A day trip from Katra to Shiv Khori cave temple may also be made after returning back fom Maa Vaishno Devi Bhavan. This famous cave temple is located 80 km from Katra. The devotees have to walk 3 km to reach this cave. This place is connected with Jammu and Katra by buses.

Most 3 star and above hotels have very good vegetarian food. There are hundreds of other restaurants in the main Katra market. On the way to Bhawan - you have many options of eating snacks and having cold and warm beverages. At some places run by the trust you can have good lunch of rice and rajma.

Alcohol drinking is prohibited on the way to Darshan.


Hotel Sunchick, (in Vaishino Devi). Rs700/day for a double.  edit
National Guest House (ranka), 27,arihant colony,pushkar road,ajmer (close to Katra bus stand and Hotel Chirag International), ☎ 01991-232165/094192-15791/098581-63803. Clean and spacious rooms. 24hrs checkout. Rs600-700/day for a double/triple. (13.10.12,15.10.12) edit


  1. As much as I want to visit such places like this one, I don’t think I can take all that walking and climbing required :(

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  2. Nice blog. Thanks for sharing your opinion. we are providing vaishno devi tours at low price. we are provided helicopter and hotel facility at katra.

  3. Good one. Thanks for sharing the complete guide about Katra and Vaishno Devi Temple. Don't miss the delicious food served at several dhabas here. Check out all amenities, prices, offers of white hotel Katra also, a 4 star hotel in Katra.

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