Vaishno Devi Yatra Travel Guide - Information, Care and Planning- वैष्णो देवी मन्दिर

Mata Vaishno Devi Yatra is considered to be one of the holiest pilgrimages in the world.  Shri
Ma Vaishno Devi
Ma Vaishno Devi Ji resides in a Holy Cave located in the folds of the three peaked mountain named Trikuta [ त्रिकूट] . Around  5 Millions of devotees come for Darshan of Ma Vaishno Devi every year from all parts of India and abroad only because of the unflinching faith.

With the kind blessings of Ma Vaishno Devi, this site  endeavours to provide you information relating to Yatra and
various precautions pilgrims have to take
Bhairo Ji
so as to avoid problems during the journey. 

If you are visiting 1st time, after Darshan of Ma Vaishno Devi, do visit and have darshan  of  Bhairon Temple which is situated  at a distance of 2.5 kms from the holy cave. It is said that Vaishno Devi Yatra is not complete without darshan at Bhairo Temple.

Situated in the high hills at about 5200 feet called  Tirkuta Hills and at a
distance of about 14 kilometers from Katra, Vaishno Devi Temple is one of the holiest Hindu temples dedicated to Shakti. The temple is also known as Mata Rani and Vaishnavi. Vaishno Devi is a manifestation of the Mother Goddess. The Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board maintains the Shrine and takes care of various facilities during Yatra.

How to Reach and Preparations for Yatra

First of all you have to make a  programme for your Journey.  Please note May to September months  are very

pleasant months, when even the cotton garments are sufficient.

1. Obtain a  Yatra Parchi : Visit the  Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board site and get a Yatra Parchi by booking online.  A sum of Rs. 50/- only is payable online-( through internet). Please do  get a print of it. It should be done to make the travel comfortable. If you could not get it online, you may procure the same at Katra. Please note 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.  Effective from 14th May, 2013, online Yatra Parchi can be made between 5.00 am to 10.00 pm every day. You can book the same 30 days in advance. Please note that the this facility on the Shrine's website shall be available starting 30 days in advance for any given day with opening at 10.00 hours instead of earlier 00 hours (12.00 midnight). 

In case you could not obtain Yatra Parchi at your home place, offline yatra parchi is also available at Yatra Registration Counter near bus stand Katra and Saraswati Dham Jammu. It is free of cost.
(Free Yatra Slip is available at Vaishnavi and Saraswati Dham at  Jammu). 
Online bookings Note: Please carry the credit/debit card in original through which the transaction has been made without which the reservation/boarding will be denied without any refund.

2. Book a room/bed online:  You must also book a room or bed  to make stay arrangement . (This will be helpful to take rest  after or before Darshan/ Yatra and keep your belongings at Main Bhavan). Rooms/Beds are available in Main Bhavan/nearby places. It is allotted as as per availability
and  charges are Rs.80/- for dormitory and more for rooms). Booking is done in  30 days advance, kindly visit the Shrine Board site to find the way of booking as it reserved well in time. Once booking is done, it should not postponed or cancelled.
3. Book helicopter online also  if you desire for journey from Katra to Sanjhi Chhat (Sanjhi Chat is  just 2 Kms. away {hilly root}  from the main temple) and back.

Important:  Please book in advance, rooms for your stay(or rest) and helicopter from Katra to Sanjhichhat to Katra. Please visit the site of Shrine Board and see the trend of booking.  Bookings are at present done around 20 to 30 days in advance. Please check the Shrine Board site and make programme accordingly. Aarti can also be boked through online service on the website.  

4. Carry  a Post-paid Mobile Phone connection : Please note that pre-paid Cellphone Mobiles do not work here, hence take
only Post-paid mobile. 

5. How to reach : There are several trains,air routes and road links to reach Jammu. After reaching Jammu, you can take a taxi or a bus (a prepaid taxi at Jammu Airport or Railway Station - is recommended for comforts and safety) for Katra
. The distance from Jammu to Katra is about 50 Kilometers.

Katra is Base Camp  - Katra is located at an altitude of about 2500 feet above sea level. In fact  Katra is the base camp for the Yatra to the Holy Shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi .  After reaching Katra, you have option to take rest in a hotel/Inn  at Katra or immediately proceed for Yatra. You may like to opt for Hotel Krishna (Phone: 01991-232755, 232776) or any other suitable hotel/Inn in the main Katra Bus/taxi stand.  Please  carry minimum luggage with you, say a Towel, undergarments, woolen clothe, (in winter only). Now some trains will reach directly to Katra instead of Jammu. 

In Katra, you can also book Hotel/Guest House provided by Indian Railways. Find
Even if you carry more luggage, you will have to deposit it in the Lockers provided at different places
in main Bhawan when you reach there.  A number of facilities are provided during the Yatra by the Board like blankets free of charge.

Many more facilities are available on hire. Packed and cooked food including meals, hot and cold beverages and other important items including medicare and oxygen cylinders, cassettes are available in the yatra route.  You can view below images and pictures of Katra as well as other images

Do not forget to get Yatra Parchi

If you have not taken Yatra Parchi through internet (at your own city), please do get the same at Yatra parchi counter at Yatra Registration Centre, Katra (near bus stand) free of charge. Generally it takes little time to get the same. Please note you will have to return from Ban Ganga if you do not take and carry Yatra Parchi. It is free of cost.

At Jammu : -Free Yatra Slip is available at Vaishnavi and Saraswati Dham at  Jammu . 

                  Katra                  Katra                      Katra

How to begin Yatra from Katra to Main Bhawan ( Ma Vaishno Devi)

1. Through Helicopter : . If you have booked a helicopter service in your city  through internet or through air-ticket providers, you may now take a  Auto Rickshaw/taxi to reach Helipad in Katra, where-from you can proceed for your Yatra upto Sanjhee Chhat. It takes nore more than 10 minutes to reach there. (On-foot, it takes more than 4 to 5 hrs). After reaching Sanjhee Chhat you have the option to complete 2 Kms. journey upto main bhawan either by foot or hiring horse servces. It is always advisable to hire horse services for comfort and time saving.

2. Through Horses : Please note that you have to cover a distance of about 15 Kms. on high hills. If you prefer to reach by foot, it will take aroud 4-5 hours ( or more if you take rests in Yatra) to reah. If you hire horse for the journey, you can cover this distance in not more than 2 hours. Horses are available at very nominal rate of Rs.320/- per horse. These rates are fixed by the Board.  Hiring of horse will save your time and energy.

3. On-foot Journey  :  You can opt for your Yatra on foot also. Although it is somewhat tiresome but it enables  you to view the scenic beauty of hills and darshan of holy places coming in the way like Ban ganga Charan Paduka, HimKoti, Ardha Kumari,etc.[ Banganga is situated on the bank of a small rivulet called Banganga and at a height of 2700 ft. ]. This holy place  is the first major station of yatra when the Yatri undertakes his on-foot journey from Katra to Bhawan. If you are doing Yatra on foot, it is a good news. A new route developed by Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board   is 0.5 KM lesser than other route. Many pilgrims now prefer to take this  route via Himkoti instead of going through Ardkuwari as it is short and very beautiful

4.Through Pali :  This is recommended for very old and sick devotees.


A view of Katra from Hills A view of Katra from Hills A view of Katra from Hills


How to make your Yatra comfortable and easy

1. Yatra Parchi(Slip) is to be shown at Ban Ganga check-post and Parchi counter at Bhawan (Must)

2. Check the rates and avoid being overcharged py Pitthus, Ponywalas and Palkiwalas,

3. Yatris suffering from blood pressure, breathlessness and heart disease etc. are advised to avoid using steps for climbing up during yatra.

4. Please beware of Pickpockets and touts.

5. For any assistance contact Board authorities at Katra, Ban Ganga, Ardhkumar, Sanjhee Chhat and at Bhawan or control room  at Katra.

6. Do not feed Monkeys to avoid menace

7. On reaching Bhawan, please obtain Group Number (waiting number)  . A  Group Number is provided in a counter just at the beginning of Main Bhawan at right hand side. Yatries are allowed for darshan only in queue  and according to group number. The group numbers flashes on the TV  Screens displayed at various places of the Bhavan.

8. Remember to take woolen clothes in winter, particularly in December when there is snow fall.

9. Put on Canvas shoes if you prefer On-foot yatra.

10. You will have to deposit your shoes/chappals belt, purse, and pen  before you begin yatra.



Yatra Scenes Yatra Scenes Yatra Scenes

Know the Yatra Route ::   Katra -  Ban Ganga- Charan Paduka  -  Ardhya Kumari -Garbh Gupha - Hathi Mathha - Sanjhee Chhat -Mata Vaishno Devi Temple Bhawan   - Bhairo Madir - return yatra  to Katra

Care and Precautions  : On reaching Main Bhawan you may take rest and have a bath.  Please carefully note the following :

  • The Aarti -The 'Aarti' of the Goddess is performed twice a day first time in the morning just before the sunrise and second time in the evening immediately after the sunset Please note that after Aarti there is a lot of rush of devotees. This whole procedure of Aarti  takes nearly two hours during which time the darshans remain suspended. Hence you must reach before Aarti or on after around 2 hours m to avoid rush.

  • Get your Group Number - Before beginning to join queue for Darshan, get your Group Number from Counter just before main Bhawan.

  • Keep these in Lockers : - It is free -Now  keep your belongings and Camera, mobile, pen, leather purse, leather belt, shoes, chappals, etc. Please note these items are never allowed. You have either to keep in the room of your stay or deposit all such items in the Safe Custody Lockers, which are provided free of cost. These lockers are almost in the beginning of Main Bhawan. Keep carefully the  token provided for the locker. If you forget and carry these items with you, you will not be allowed to be in queue  for Darshan in any condition. Take a lock and key with you if you prefer dormitory to stay for keeping your personal items in lockers. 
  • Carry Prasad with you  - Please carry Prasad with you  from the Board's shop situated just before main Bhawan. After entering in line in Main Bhawan, you cannot buy prasad. However, even if you do not carry Prasad with you, you will be provided a Prasad after Darshan at the Prasad Chamber (of Board) after showing your Yatra Parchi. You may mix more Prasad afterwords to spread the holy prasad among your friends and relatives. Please note you will have to deposit the coconul of Prasad while in queue, which  will be returned to you after Darshan at the Reclaim Counter.

Darshan of Ma Vaishno Devi : The Holy Bhawan houses the main holy cave which is the main destination of devotees. Situated in Trikuta Parvat (Hill) at around 5200 feet height from sea level, The Holy Bhawan, is the main centre of pooja and darshan  for the devotees. It is also the key location in the entire Yatra route. Hence, adequate arrangements and facilities have been created by the Shrine Board for the convenience of the devotees. These include free & rented accommodation; Toilet Blocks; Bhojanalayas; Post Office; Banks; Communication (STD/PCO); Announcement Centres; Blanket Stores; Cloak Rooms; Medical Dispensary (with a ICU); General Stores; Bhaint Shops; Police Station, etc.

Before entering the holy cave you may take bath at Charan Gange water which is at the end of bazaar and just before the Main Bhawan.

There are two caves one original which is little difficult and not open at all times. there are fixed days  of opening and Darshan through this cave. You cannot stand in this cave, water touches the feet and at some places it is quite narrow.  The other passage is artificial passage for Darshan. It is around 18 meters. Genrally Darshans are allowed from the new cave which is convenient.

After the end of cave you get the Darshan of Ma Vaishno Devi in the shape of 3 Pindies of Maha Laxmi, Maha Saraswati and Maha Kali. You can have Darshan of Ma Vashno Devi   in the  form of Pindies, inside the Holy Cave.  At the extreme left  is the Pindi of Goddess Saraswati with white shade. In the center is the Pindi of Goddess  Lakshmi, with a yellow-reddish tinge and to the right is the Pindi of Goddess Kali, with a color black shade.    

The Cave :  If you prefer to have Darshan through the old cave, it is somewhat difficult. The main door is quite narrow. Go ahead slowly. The holy cool water of Charanganga touches your feet. On the left side you can view a natural Shila Khand. The first 5 pindies are of Pandavas, thereafter seven pindies are of Sapt Rishies and just after it there is a natural Pillar which is called Tapt Stambh of Prahlad. Move ahead and you will see natural look of a lion and its Panja.  Before the new cave  door you can see a natural statue of Sheshnag on the roof of cave. Sheshnag akriti and a number of small snakes are amazing. Please find opening days of old cave from Helpline.

Visit Bhairo Temple

After Darshan you must visit Bhairo Temple which is at a distance of about 1.5 kms on hills. This route can also be covered by hiring horses. If you are visiting first time, it is said that Yatra is complete only when you visit Bhairo Temple.

Return Yatra

In case you have booked Helicopter, you can directly  return from Bairo Mandir to Sanjhee Chhat, where you  will board the Helicopter at the proposed time of travel. You may also take horse or begin return yatra on foot. It is always recommended  to hire horses.  On return, you may like to visit some temples in Jammu city.

Images, Photos and Pictures of Yatra : 

A Monkey
View of Katra
Scenic Beauty

Yatra Route
Yatra Route
The Temple

Help lines and Phone Numbers you must know during your travel :

If you are going to visit Mata Vaishno Davi , please keep the following telephone numbers handy. These may not be required but may be helpful to overcome any inconvenience or problem during Yatra.

Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board Katra,

Tel : +91-1991-232367, 232238, 232025, 234053

Fax : +91-1991-232089, 232769

Email : ,


Police Station, Katra : 01991-232010

Police Station, Bhawan : 01991-282224

Enquiry –Reservation :

Office of the Dy. Manager (Enquiry & Reservations),

Shakti Bhawan, Niharika Complex (Near Bus Stand), Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, Katra - 182301

Phone : ++91-1991- 232887, 232025, 234053

Office of the Senior Manager, Bhawan Phone : ++91-01991- 282223

At Katra

Tourist Reception Centre, Katra : 01991-232005

Taxi Stand Telephone : 0191- 2476485

Charges/Rates :

Transport :

Bus Fare : Jammu Rly. Station to Katra : Rs.25 to 50/-

Taxi Fare : Jammu Airpot to Katra : Rs.710/- to 1100/- (Full Taxi)

Jammu Rly. Station to Katra: Rs.710/- to 1100/-

Poney : Rs.190 to 225/-

Palki :Rs. 1750 to 2630 (Bhairo visit included)

Pithoo : Rs. 125 to 250

Help Desk : Shrine Board    Ma Vaishno Devi Shrine Board      Jai Mata Di      Neemsaar Tirth in Lucknow

Disclaimer: This site is based on personal experience. It is requested that Shrine Board's Site may please be also visited  for latest information .

Kudia Ghat Lucknow      Dewa Sharif  Dargah Lucknow     Namisharanya Tirth    Lucknow Temples   

Other Religious Places in Lucknow 


We request you to let us know your experience, inconvenience if any, or suggestion to make Yatra comfortable for devotees who take up Ma Vaishno Devi Yatra for the first time.  A few lines from you will surely be of great help to all of us .  

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