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Vaishno devi Ji.
Katra Vaishno Devi, is a small town in Jammu and Kashmir, India, situated in the foothills of the Trikuta Mountains, where the holy shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi is located. It is part of the Reasi District and is located 42 km from the city of Jammu. Katra serves as the base camp for pilgrims who visit Vaishno Devi. The Holy Cave of the Mother is situated at an altitude of 5200 ft. The Yatris have to undertake a trek of nearly 12 km from the base camp at Katra. A pilgrimage to the Holy Shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji is considered to be one of the holiest pilgrimages of our times. Popular the world over as Moonh Maangi Muradein Poori Karne Wali Mata, which means, the Mother who fulfills whatever Her children wish for, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji resides in a Holy Cave. The Holy Cave attracts lakhs of devotees every year. In fact, the number of Yatris visiting the Holy Shrine annually now exceeds 5 million.
Since the year 1986, when the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (commonly called Shrine Board) was formed (under “The Jammu & Kashmir Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Act, 1986’), the management of the Shrine and regulation of the Yatra has been vested in the Board. The Board has undertaken a number of developmental activities aimed at making the Yatra a comfortable and satisfying experience for the Yatris.
It is reiterated that Darshans inside the Holy Cave are in the form of natural rock formations called Pindies. There are no statues, pictures or idols inside. All along the track and at the Bhawan, there are many photographs explaining the nature of Darshans inside the Holy Cave. Yatries should observe these carefully since these are meant to guide them towards the final Darshans in the Holy Cave.
Yatra Registration - Obtaining a Yatra Parchi
The most important activity that a pilgrim has to undertake on reaching Katra is getting registered for the Yatra. Yatra Registration is carried out at the Yatri Registration centre (YRC) near the Bus Stand Katra.
Important: - One Yatra Slip is issued for a maximum of 9 family members. For more members, more than one Yatra slip can be taken. In case of yatries in large groups, a separate yatra Slip should be taken for each family.
Before Starting the Yatra:-
1. Before proceeding for the trek, obtain a Yatra slip from Yatra Registration Counter, near bus stand KatraThe slip is issued free of cost. . No one is allowed to proceed beyond Banganga check post without obtaining the Yatra slip.
2. In case you wish to avail of the facility of rented accommodation at Katra, Adkuwari, Sanjichhat or Bhawan, please get the room reservation done from the Enquiry and Reservation Counter at Niharika Complex (near the Bus Stand) Katra.
3. Kindly confirm the rates of the Porters, Ponies and Palanquins before hiring them and ensure that they carry a valid registration card. Note down their numbers before entrusting them with your valuables. Please do not pay more than the approved rates.
4. Video cameras, mobile phones and other electronic equipment are not allowed on the track. Please make arrangements for their safekeeping at Katra itself.
5. Travel light. Please leave all unnecessary clothes and luggage at Katra itself. Food, drink and blankets are freely available. There is no need to carry these items along
How to reach Katra:-
The nearest Railway station to Katra is at Jammu 50 kilometers away. Trains from all across India are connected to Jammu.
Katra is well connected to Jammu by National Highway which is in turn connected to the rest of India.
The nearest Airport to Katra is at Jammu which is 55 kilometers away.