|Suggestions for Vaishno
1. How do I reach Katra?
Katra is located at a
distance of 50 Kms from Jammu, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir.
Jammu is connected with the rest of the country by road, rail and air.
Jammu is connected by air with Delhi and Srinagar.
2. What should I do before proceeding for the Yatra from Katra?
Before proceeding to Bhawan for Darshans please ensure the following: -
1. Obtain a yatra Parchi (slip) from the Yatra registration Counter at the general Bus stand Katra. The Yatra Slip is free of cost and can be obtained between 6A. M. to 10 p.m.
2. Obtain permission for the video shooting from the central office of the Shrine Board, in case you want to carry a video Camera.
3. Get your room booked for Bhawan / Sanji Chhat / Adhkwari from Central Office Of the Shrine Board, and collect your papers to be shown at the location for which the room is booked.
4. Don’t carry too much jewellery or cash with you.
3. Can I avail accommodation at Bhawan and Katra? How?
At Katra, besides the accommodation offered by the Board, private hotels Dharamshalas and the government accommodation are available. However at Bhawan, Sanji Chhat and Adhkwari Shrine Board is the only agency possessing / providing accommodation. The accommodations offered by the Board are broadly of three types viz. free Accommodation rented Rooms and rented Dormitories. Free accommodation provided by the Board is in the form of big halls available at Katra Adhkwari, Sanji Chhat & Bhawan. For this type of accommodation advance reservation is neither required nor available. Rented rooms/ dormitories are available to the yatries against advance reservation. The advance reservation of rooms/dormitories is done in the Enquiry and reservation section of the Board, whose address is given below against cash payment, cheques /draft: -
Shakti Bhawan, SMVDSB
Katra- 182 301
For current reservation of accommodation, subject to availability, besides the central office of the Board, a yatri can also contact at the Board’s Offices at the locations where the accommodation is sought.
4. How and Where to Donate?
The Shrine Board depends entirely on the donations of pilgrims for carrying out its developmental programmes. Therefore, pilgrims are requested to donate generously. Donations made to the Shrine Board are exempt from Income Tax under section 80-G of the Indian Income Tax Act. The donations can be either put in directly in the donation boxes kept at different locations or the same can be made at the specific Donation counters against proper receipt. A jewellery box has also been placed at the sanctum sanctorum. The Gold and Silver jewellery offered by the pilgrims is put in the jewellery box. The Board also accepts donations by cheques and drafts payable to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board at Katra or Jammu. For the purpose the cheque or drafts can be sent at the following address: -
Shri Mata Vaishno Devi
5. What are the essential things I need to carry before starting for pilgrimage?
Please ensure to carry the following things with you when you proceed to Bhawan for Darshans: -
a. The Yatra slip
b. Permission for Video Shooting.
c. The room reservation papers if any.
d. The one or two spares garments as per season / weather.
e. A torch and an umbrella.
f. Canvas shoes if you are to go on foot
7. How and where can I hire ponies and Palkies?
For hiring the registered Ponies, Pithoos or Palkies a yatri is required to contact the contractors offices at Bhawan / Adhkwari / Katra. The rates for these Palkies / Pithoos / Ponies are approved by the Govt. and for convenience the same can be cross checked from the Signboards installed by the Board along the track at prominent locations. Before engaging these Ponies, Palkies or Pithoos a devotee is required to note down the registration no. of the person(s) so engaged for reference in case of need. In case of any problem with the Contractors Office, the field offices of the Shrine Board can also be contacted at the above locations.
8. How is the weather at Katra & Bhawan & What kind of garments do I carry?
At Bhawan, during the summer months, there is moderate temperature whereas in the winter season sub-zero temperature is experienced. The monsoon season witnesses quite a heavy rainfall. Temperature at the holy Shrine normally ranges from moderate 30 degree Centigrade in the summers to about minus five degree Centigrade during the winter. Since Bhawan experience heavy snowfall during the months of December, January and February. Consequently, it can become extremely cold during winters. Pilgrims are advised to carry heavy woolen clothing with them if they wish to perform Yatra during winters. In fact, Heavy Woolen Clothing’s should be Carried By Pilgrims From October To March. April is an unpredictable month. The weather can turn quite cold if it rains. So it is advisable to carry light woolens during this month. May to September are very pleasant months, when even the cotton garments are sufficient.
9. What is the procedure for Darshans?
Before commencing Journey from Katra, pilgrims are supposed to get themselves registered at the yatra registration counter, at Bus stand Katra. The Yatra slip is available free of cost. This can be easily obtained from the Yatra registration Counter that is open from 6 A.M. in the morning to 10 P.M. in the evening. During rush period, when the yatra at Katra exceeds the clearing capacity at Bhawan, the pilgrims are held back at Katra itself and they are issued a temporary waiting group which is later on converted into final slip on first come first served basis. The yatra slip obtained at Katra is required to be verified first at the Banganga slip check post & finally at Bhawan slip check post. On arriving at Bhawan a fresh group number is allotted to the pilgrims which is stamped on the yatra slip collected from Katra. This group number is essential for having Darshans at Bhawan.
10. What is the distance of the Shrine from the Katra? How much time does it take a person to reach at Bhawan?
The holy cave of Vaishno Devi is situated at a distance of 12 Km. From Darshani Deodi from where the on-foot yatra commences. The time required for on-foot journey depends on your health / age and the composition of your group. However for a normal healthy person it takes about four to five hour on-foot.
11. I have an aged relative. Will it be convenient to bring him for Darshans? What assistance is available?
It is absolutely convenient for the devotees of all age groups right from small children to elderly people as adequate facilities like catering, porters, accommodation etc. are available at Katra, Bhawan and enroute. For the infirm people the Palkies can be engaged.
12. Are adequate catering arrangements/milk for the children available enroute?
Yes, the Shrine Board
has made adequate catering arrangements in the form of Bhojanalayas and
View Points where besides the other items milk for the children is also
available. There are private shops which provide various eatables at different
|Take officcial receipts for all payments
made to the Shri Mata Vaishnod Devi Shrine Board as well as private vendors.
Official rate lists for all services are available. Demand to see them
when making payments. Avail of the services of only registered people be
it pithu, pony or the dandiwalla and keep his token for the period he is
engaged. Contact the announcement counters of Shri Mata Vaishnodevi Shrine
Board at Katra, Banganga, Adhkawari and Darbar for locating missing persons.
Use only the donation boxes provided at various places by Mata Vaishnodevi
Shrine Board. In case of donations at the donation counters of the Board
at Katra (Central Office/ Vishram Ghar), Adhkawari, Sanjichhat and various
points at the Bhawan obtain a formal receipt. Avoid overstraining on the
climb and prefer the track over the stairs and stick to either of the paths.
Luggage and belongings should not be deposited with unauthorised persons
or left unguarded at the bathing ghats.
Beware of suspiciuous people. They may dupe you. To maintain the sanctity of the place, do not indulge in gambling, playing cards, smoking or chewing betel (Paan) at Bhawan or enroute. Avoid painting, sticking posters or disfiguring signboards as well as littering in the area. Containers have been provided for throwing rubbish and other waste. Fellow pilgrims are bound to you by their faith in the Mata. Avoid things like playing transistors/tape recorders too loudly or creating blockages or hinderances in movement or passages meant for circulation. Qualified doctors are available at the Primary Health Centre, Katra, Adhkawari and Bhawan - Open round the clock. The Evening Clinic, Katra Bus Stand - Open 2 pm to 8 pm. Clothing - Light woollens required at night during the summer months. Heavy woollens required during the remaining part of the year. Note : Donations to the Shrine are exempt from Income Tax under the Income Tax Act. Do contact the Central Office of the Shrine Board located at Katra, or the SDM or Tehsildar in Room Nno. 8,, Kalika Bhawan, Durbar or write at the following address for any kind of suggestions/complaints :-
The Chief Executive Officer