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India Travel Guide

Getting Around Vaishno-Devi

Hike or use Porter, Palanquin or a Pony Ride to the holy shrine.

Jammu to Katra

Cabs, Buses all connect Jammu to Katra. Tourists can book a cab either from the railway station, bus stand or the Tourist Reception Centre. There are buses every 10 minutes connecting Jammu to Katra. The first bus service starts at 5:30 AM and goes on upto 8:30 PM. Jammu Kashmir Tourism Department also runs buses and luxury coaches from the Jammu Railway Station to Katra. The bus journey takes about two hours and passes through some steep climbs and winding roads.

Katra to Vaishno Devi

The climb to the shrine is 13 kms long. Before commencing the walk, tourists have to get passes, which are available at the Tourist Reception Centre at the Katra Bus Stand.

There are various options available to reach the shrine. Tourists can trek all the way. Every year scores of devotees walk the well-paved and lighted path to seek blessings from the goddess. Facilities for food, water and public utility are all conveniently located all along the trek route. Overnight accommodation is also available at Sanji Chhat (9.5 kms from Katra) and at the shrine.

There are actually two different paths that can be followed to reach the shrine. One is the track, which is believed to have been used by the goddess herself. This path is steep and goes all the way upto Sanji Chhat and then takes you downhill to the Bhawan. The other path built in 1994 is a new wide track, which is relatively shorter and less steep.

For those who cannot walk the whole distance pithoos or porter, pony and palanquins are also available. All the three services are registered with the Notified Area Committee and carry ID cards. Porters generally carry children upto the age of 12, elderly frail people, luggage etc. Porters and Ponies charge upto Rs. 225. Palanquin service costs Rs. 2,075. Palanquins are available for hire from the Shrine Board Assistance Counter at Katra and ponies and porters can be hired from the Chetak Bhawan, which is close to the Darshani Darwaza.

Helicopter Service is also available from Katra to Sanji Chhat. The shrine is just 3.5 kms away from this location. The helicopter ride covers the entire journey in just 7 minutes.


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