A trip to Vaishno Devi is one on the priority list of many Hindus who believe that Shri Mata Vaishno Ji is “Mooh Mangi muradein Puri karne wail Maa” that is the mother who fulfils all her children’s spoken wishes. Mata ji is situated in a Holy cave that’s located in the folds of a mountain with three peaks or Trikuta. Large numbers of devotees come here annually (the number has crossed one crore annual footfall) and one of the best examples of unwavering human faith is seen here. The Vaishno Devi yatra is not an easy task as one has to undertake arduous trek of nearly 12 km from the base camp of Katra.
Resting In Katra Before The Journey
Traditionally, this journey is a hike to the Bhawan. Hence, it becomes advisable to take a night’s rest at Katra. With so many options available, it is not a problem to find the right hotel that suits your needs the best. However, choosing the right hotel needs some research. There are hundreds of pocket-friendly hotels that are just next to the railway station. Each provides its own unique experience. Many hotels in Katra offer scenic views of the green valley, besides spacious rooms and efficient services, one from these hotels are best to choose, if they meet your budgets as the beautiful view and positivity flowing in the air, makes the stay memorable and worthwhile. But to choose the best hotel, a traveler also has to keep in mind the proximity of the hotel from the railway station and the Shrine Board, where travelers can arrange for helicopters, if required. You could also check for some hotels that offer spa services. A relaxing massage before or after the journey is a great idea. These hotels are a delight to people who are ready to embark on the pilgrimage the next day and also to those who are returning from the Holy Shrine.
Registering yourself for Mata Vaishno Mandir Yatra
One very important part is registering for the yatra which can either is done at Shri mata Vaishno Devi shrine board at Katra or online at their official website. On spot photography, basic health info and fingerprints are taken for registration. The pilgrims have to proceed to the first check post at Banganga within 6 hours of being issued the slip for further completion of Vaishno Devi yatra. You should also be informed of the fact that only 30,000 to 35,000 yatris per day are permitted to have darshan and the rest of the visitors have to wait for a day at Katra. A good tour operator will be able to ensure a speedy and hindrance free yatra.
Free Insurance For Mata Vaishno Devotees
Free insurance of 3 lakhs for adults and 1 lakh for minors is provided and you must be sure to sign up for this. There are limited facilities and amenities up in the mountain and guests have to be reasonably fit in order to venture up there. The yatra darshan takes place by continuously moving narrow queues and group visits are not possible because of the narrow passage leading to the shrine.
Attractions of Maa Vaishno Yatra
During the journey, the constant chants of Jai Mata di amongst the pilgrims’ acts as an energizer along with songs sung in devout spirit. Along the way, you may wish to halt at Ardh Kuwari which is an important attraction…legends say that Mata Vaishno Devi worshipped the lord Shiva in the garbha joon cave for full nine months. Some tourists journey on after visiting Vaishno mata ki Bhavan to visit the Bhairavnath temple that’s 2 km away. Not only is the temple famous for hosting the spirit of Baba Bhairavnath, it also provides majestic views of the valley. The temple or bhavan is 13.5 km from Katra and besides ponies, paalkhis and electric vehicles are also arranged up to sanchichaat that’s 9.6 km from Katra. Helicopter service is also available and your tour operator will arrange it for you on prior booking.
For a healthy and fit person, it will take approximately 4 – 5 hours of walk to reach to the temple. However, it is an interesting journey and you won’t feel tired of you are walking with the true spirit of pilgrimage in your heart. On the way to the temple, you can get blessings at the following places:
- Hathi Matha
Where to eat:
There are so many food joints available in Katra, Jammu as well as near the temple. If you are looking for a lot of choices, then better you fill your stomach from Jammu or Katra. You will get light, simple food near the temples. Since you have a long way to walk, it is better to eat light food and also avoid carrying lot of food to reduce the weight you need to carry.