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How to reach Vaishno Devi Temple

Discussion in 'Travel advice' started by Dadlani39, Aug 26, 2016.

  1. Dadlani39

    Dadlani39 New Member

    I will be coming to India with my family (my wife, 3 kids and mother) from Dallas. One of the main reasons for us to come to India is to go to Vaishno Devi. I have not booked the flight tickets yet, as I thought it would be better to get some advice about the trip and the main trip to Vaishno Devi.

    As soon as we land in India, we would like to go to Vaishno Devi without any delay, so I would like to know how to reach Vaishno Devi temple?

    Which airport should we choose to arrive at from Dallas?

    We would also be going to our hometown in Gujarat, where we would easily get a flight to, so there is no problem in this regard.

  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello there, welcome to the forum!

    You have two options for this, either at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (New Delhi Airport) or the Sri Guru Ram Das Jee International Airport (Amritsar Airport). Your exact route/journey would for the New Delhi Airport would be:
    • Dallas > Flight to San Francisco Airport > Flight to New Delhi > Flight to Jammu or Train/Bus to Katra (Vaishno Devi).
    • Dallas > Flight to Dubai > Flight to New Delhi > Flight to Jammu or Train/Bus to Katra (Vaishno Devi).
    And your exact journey for the Amritsar Airport would be:
    • Dallas > Flight to Dubai > Flight to Amritsar > Train/Bus to Katra (Vaishno Devi).
    Either of these airports are good. The advantage of choosing the direct flight from Dallas to San Francisco and then to Delhi is that it is the cheapest option. If time is your main concern, then choose the last option, which is Dallas to Dubai to Amritsar as it's the fastest one. You can reach Katra within 30 hours as compared to the other two options where you would reach Katra in 40 hours or more.

    So this depends on what airport you choose, New Delhi Airport or Amritsar Airport:

    From New Delhi Airport, you have different options:

    1. By Air - The nearest airport to Katra Vaishno Devi is Jammu Airport, which is about 50 kms from the former. Here are some flight schedules:
    • Indigo 6E 554 - Departs at 7:40 and arrives at 9:00. Flight duration is 1 hour and 20 minutes. Fare is at Rs. 2,702 per passenger.
    • Indigo 6E 536 - Departs at 14:20 and arrives at 15:45. Flight duration is 1 hour and 25 minutes. Fare is at Rs. 2,702 per passenger.
    • Air India AI 821 - Departs at 11:05 and arrives at 12:20. Flight duration is 1 hour and 15 minutes. Fare is at Rs. 3,259 per passenger.
    From Jammu Airport, you can then ride a taxi to reach Katra. Or you can also ride a bus operated by JKSRTC to reach Katra. Fare is fairly cheap at Rs. 38 per passenger.

    2. By Train - From New Delhi, there are several trains plying directly to the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra Railway Station. Travel time is about 10 to 15 hours. Here are their timings:
    • Shri Shakti Express Train No. 22461 - This train departs daily at 17:30 and arrives at 5:10 in Katra.
    • Jammu Mail Train No. 15033 - This train departs daily at 20:23 and arrives at 11:50.
    • Uttar Sampark Kranti Train No. 12445 - This train departs daily at 20:50 and arrives at 8:40.
    3. By Bus - You can opt for a DTC operated bus or a privately operated bus. For the DTC Buses, here are their timings:
    • 22:00 and 22:50
    Fare is at Rs. 219 per passenger. Here are the timings of some privately operated buses:
    • Swagatam Holidays (Volvo AC Seater/Semi Sleeper) - Departs at 8:00 pm and arrives at 7:30 am. Fare is at Rs. 1,300 per passenger.
    • Hari Travels (AC Seater) - Departs at 10:00 pm and arrives at 9:30 am. Fare is at Rs. 600 to Rs. 900 per passenger.
    • Ashok Bus Service (AC Seater/Sleeper) - Departs at 10:05 pm and arrives at 11:00 am. Fare is at Rs. 600 to Rs. 850 per passenger.
    4. By Taxi - Delhi to Katra is about 633 kms and can take you 10 hours to cover that distance by road. Fare is usually Rs. 12,000 and above.

    From Amritsar Airport, here are your options:

    1. By Air - The nearest airport to Katra is again, Jammu Airport. Here is one timing of flight from Amritsar Airport to Jammu Airport:
    • Air India AI 454 - Departs at 6:55 and arrives at 12:20. Flight duration is 5 hour and 20 minutes. Fare is at Rs. 5,637 per passenger.
    The other flights have longer durations, about 20 hours and more so this is your only best option. From Jammu Airport, you have the same options I have posted above.

    2. By Train - There's only one train plying from Amritsar Junction to Katra. This is the schedule:
    • Ahmedabad SVDK Express Train No. 19415 - Departs during Mondays at 00:05 and arrives the next day at 7:00. Journey time is about 6 hours or more.
    3. By Bus - There are direct private buses plying this route, Amritsar to Katra:
    • Yashika Travels (AC Seater/Sleeper) - Departs at 10:20 pm and arrives at 4:45 am. Fare is at Rs. 320 to Rs. 370 per passenger.
    • Arora Tours and Travels (AC Sleeper) - Departs at 10:30 pm and arrives at 5:30 am. Fare is at Rs. 399 to Rs. 499 per passenger.
    • Lucky Travels (AC Seater/Sleeper) - Departs at 10:30 pm and arrives at 5:15 am. Fare is at Rs. 350 to Rs. 399 per passenger.
    Punjab Roadways also have buses from Amritsar to Jammu. From Jammu, you can just ride another bus to reach Katra. Here is one timing for the Amritsar to Jammu bus:
    • Punbus Amritsar Depot 2 (Volvo AC Seater) - Departs at 7:10 am and arrives at 12:30 pm.
    From Jammu to Katra, here is one bus timing I was able to find:
    • Sai Volvo Bus Service - Departs at 3:46 and fare is at Rs. 399 per passenger.
    Or you can just ride a taxi from Jammu to Katra as the distance is not that long.

    4. By Taxi - Amritsar to Katra is about 280 kms and by road, it can take you 5 to 6 hours to cover that distance. Taxi fare is between Rs. 3,000 to Rs. 7,000.

    I hope this helps.:)

  3. Dhruv

    Dhruv Member

    For a trip to Vaishno Devi, you would typically fly into an airport that provides good connectivity to the region. The nearest major airport to Vaishno Devi is the Jammu Airport (IXJ). Here's a suggested itinerary:

    1. Book a Flight to Jammu:
      • Fly from Dallas to Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) in Delhi. From Delhi, book a connecting flight to Jammu Airport (IXJ). Jammu is the city closest to Vaishno Devi.
    2. Arrival in Jammu:
      • Once you arrive in Jammu, you can hire a taxi or use other local transportation to reach Katra, the base camp for the Vaishno Devi pilgrimage. Katra is about 42 kilometers from Jammu, and the journey takes around 1.5 to 2 hours by road.
    3. Journey to Vaishno Devi from Katra:
      • From Katra, the pilgrimage to Vaishno Devi involves a trek of approximately 13 kilometers. You can undertake this trek on foot, by pony, or by using the helicopter services available. The trek usually takes around 4-6 hours, depending on your pace and the mode of transport chosen.
    4. Accommodation in Katra:
      • Consider staying overnight in Katra before starting the trek to Vaishno Devi. There are various accommodations available in Katra to suit different budgets.
    5. Vaishno Devi Darshan:
      • Begin the trek to Vaishno Devi early in the morning. After reaching the shrine, have the darshan, and then you can start the descent back to Katra.
    6. Return to Jammu:
      • After visiting Vaishno Devi, return to Katra and then proceed to Jammu if needed. You can spend some time exploring Jammu or head straight to your next destination.
    7. Travel to Gujarat:
      • Since you mentioned that you'll be heading to your hometown in Gujarat, you can book a flight from Jammu to your preferred airport in Gujarat.
    • Book Helicopter Tickets in Advance:
      • If you prefer a quicker journey to Vaishno Devi, consider booking helicopter tickets from Katra to Sanjichhat (close to the shrine) in advance.
    • Check Weather Conditions:
      • Be mindful of the weather conditions, especially if you plan to undertake the trek. The weather can vary, so it's advisable to check the forecast before starting your journey.
    • Plan Ahead:
      • Plan your trip well in advance, considering the preferences and requirements of your family members.
    Before finalizing your travel plans, it's recommended to check for any travel advisories, entry requirements, and specific guidelines related to the pilgrimage. Also, verify the current status of transportation services to and from Vaishno Devi.