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Katra to Vaishno Devi Walking Time

Discussion in 'Jammu & Kashmir' started by MinaxiBora, Jul 4, 2016.

  1. MinaxiBora

    MinaxiBora New Member

    I am going to Vaishno Devi for the very first time with my younger sister and brother (it will be their first time too). I know the climb to the Bhavan is a long way, and we would be walking it to the Bhavan and would like to know what is the Katra to Vaishno Devi walking time.

    I would like some guidance to what time we should start the climb?

    Should we stop for an extended period during the climb at all and where should we stop?

  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello and welcome to the forum!

    The complete distance between Katra and Vaishno Devi is about 12 kms. But the ascent is quite hard as it's leading up and some parts can be difficult to traverse.

    There are two ways you can reach the Vaishno Devi: via the paved pathway or via the stairs. The paved pathway is longer but the road is well-maintained. Using this path alone, it can take around 6 to 7 hours to reach the Vaishno Devi. It still depends on your stamina and how fit you are though.

    The stairs can be shorter but it is more challenging. One particular stairs have about 529 steps before you reach an exit and you need to be physically fit in order to finish this one. Aside from that, the stairs can be very steep. It depends on your stamina as well but expect to reach the Vaishno Devi in 5 to 6 hours with the stairs.

    Alternatively, you can use a mixture of stairs and paths. Some say though that stairs can tire you out more. So only do this if you are of great physical stamina.

    Just midway to the ascent, you'll reach the Ardh Kuari. This is about 6 or 7 kms into the route. There's also a cave here you can visit. Pilgrims are given tokens here as well, to control the flow of people. Typical wait time is about 3 hours before you can start your journey again. If you want to save time, you can skip this stopover. However, if you decide to stop here, then that's an added time to your journey, so about 10 to 12 hours in total.

    The Vaishno Devi is open from 5:00 am to 12:00 pm and from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm. You can opt to trek either in the morning or in the evening. The advantage of trekking during the morning is that you'll see the views very clearly. The disadvantage is that it can be quite hot.

    The advantage of trekking in the evening is that it can be cooler. But you don't get to see the amazing views en route and on the peak.

    Like I've said, stopping over at Ardh Kuari can set your journey back to three hours. If you choose to directly go to Vaishno Devi and want to avoid the crowds, you can even take the Himkoti route. Instead of going through Ardh Kuari, you take the other path to Himkoti. This route is about one km less from the Ardh Kuari one. And without any stopovers, this can take a shorter time.

    But since you have your brother and sister with you, you can still choose to have a stopover in Ardh Kuari. There's some eateries and food stalls in this stopover as well.

    I hope this helps!