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Katra to Vaishno Devi distance

Discussion in 'Jammu & Kashmir' started by KoenaSharad, Oct 17, 2016.

  1. KoenaSharad

    KoenaSharad New Member

    I am taking my parents to Vaishno Devi from Pune. We will be arriving at Jammu airport and then travel towards Katra which is around 50km away.

    I would like to know what the Katra to Vaishno Devi distance is, so my parents and I can decide how they wish to go towards Vaishno Devi. If they think they can cope with the distance, they will walk, and if not then I would make the helicopter bookings.

    I would also like to know if there are places to eat and rest on the way towards Vaishno Devi from Katra?

  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello there, welcome to the forum!

    There are different points between Katra and Vaishno Devi Bhawan. But overall, the distance between these locations is about 13 kilometres. If you add in the Bhairon Ghati, it's about 14.5 kilometres in total. Of course, if you have stopovers and rests in between, the journey duration becomes longer. For references, here are the different points that you need to reach before the Vaishno Devi Bhawan from Katra:

    Different Points from Katra to Vaishno Devi Bhawan

    LocationDistance from KatraTransport Options from Katra/Other PointsTime Taken to Reach from Katra (Walking)
    Ban Ganga1 kmPony, Palanquin, Pitthoo30 minutes
    Charan Paduka2.5 kmsPony, Palanquin, Pitthoo2 hours
    Adhkuwari6 kmsPony, Palanquin, Pitthoo, Electric Vehicle (from Adhkuwari to Vaishno Devi Bhawan for seniors and handicapped)3 hours
    Himkoti8.5 kmsPony, Palanquin, Pitthoo4 hours
    Sanjichhat9.5 kmsPony, Palanquin, Pitthoo, Helicopter, Palki (for seniors)5 hours
    Vaishno Devi Bhawan13 kmsPony, Palanquin, Pitthoo6 hours
    Bhairon Ghati14.5 kmsPony, Palanquin, Pitthoo8 hours

    As you can see, there are five points from Katra until the Vaishno Devi Bhawan. If reaching the Bhairon Ghati, then there are six points, including the Vaishno Devi Bhawan. You would start your journey in Ban Ganga, about a kilometre away from Katra. After passing through the Ban Ganga Checkpost, you would reach a small river where some devotees prefer to bathe before proceeding, as per traditions. Aside from the bathing ghats, there are also medical facilities and toilets in this point. You can also find a pony stand, a palanquin stand and a pitthoo stand here.

    Your next stop would be the Charan Paduka Temple. This is where the holy footprints of the Goddess Vaishno Devi is located as she looked back to see whether Bhairon was still following her. Darshan here takes a short time and usually only a few minutes. There are an odd number of shops as well after this stop selling some snacks, tea, coffee and other beverages to devotees. At the Charan Paduka itself, there's a medical facility for devotees who might need medical assistance. You can also find a pony stand, a palanquin stand and a pitthoo stand here, just like at the first stop.

    Next would be the Adhkuwari, the middle point of your journey. This is the cave where the Goddess Vaishno Devi took rest for nine months while worshipping the Lord Shiva. In order to enter the cave, you need to get a sequence number and due to the huge number of devotees, you might have to wait a whole day just to access that cave. If however, you just want to see the cave from the outside, you won't need to get a sequence number for that.

    If you wish to spend the night here, you can do so as there are rented and free accommodation halls in this point. Some devotees choose to sleep at the sheds provided by the management. There are free blankets that you can rent as well but there's a security deposit of Rs. 100 which you can get back after bringing back the blanket. There are also plenty of dining options here in case you get hungry. There are also a pony stand, a palanquin stand, a pitthoo stand and an electric vehicle stand (from Adhkuwari to Vaishno Devi Bhawan for seniors and handicapped) here.

    So next would be Himkoti, although it has no religious significance, it is said that the views here are the most breathtaking out of all the different points. Thus, the management has developed a viewpoint here along with a restaurant for the devotees. It's a great stopover for devotees who are tired from the journey and the point can certainly rejuvenate them. Just like with the other points, you can also find a pony stand, a palanquin stand and a pitthoo stand here.

    Next is Sanjichhat, the dropping point for the devotees who booked a helicopter ride from Katra. This is the highest point in all of your journey. There are medical facilities, cloak rooms, toilets and eateries here as well. If you wish to stay the night here, there are also rented and free accommodations that you can opt for. Just like the other points, there are stands for ponies, palanquins, pitthoos and palkis here.

    And finally, you would reach the Vaishno Devi Bhawan after an hour or so. This is the main pilgrimage point and it is here where the Goddess severed the head of Bhairon Ghati. She is depicted in her three manifestations here, namely: Maha Kali, Maha Lakshmi and Mata Saraswati. There are many accommodation options here and eateries too. Medical facilities, a police station, lockers and ATMs are also located here. There's a bathing ghat here as well where devotees bathe before doing the darshan. Just like the other points, there are stands for ponies, palanquins, pitthoos and palkis here.

    If ever you decide to continue further, the Bhairon Ghati Temple is over 1.5 kilometres away from the Vaishno Devi Bhawan. As promised by the Goddess, Bhairon Ghati also receives devotees as part of the darshan. There's a small refreshment area here as well as toilets for the devotees. After your visit here, you can descend back as your pilgrimage is complete. Just like the other points, there are stands for ponies, palanquins, pitthoos and palkis here too which you can use on your way back.

    There you go, I hope this helps you!:)