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Weather in Katra Vaishno Devi

Discussion in 'Jammu & Kashmir' started by Mit8264, Oct 21, 2016.

  1. Mit8264

    Mit8264 New Member

    I want to make plans to visit Vaishno Devi. The location is in the hills and in North India where I am not from. I believe that the weather sometimes can get very cold in Katra Vaishno Devi due to it being in the hills and there may be time times during the year when pilgrims experience a lot of rock falls from the hills.

    In order to decide when I should visit I need to know what the weather in Katra Vaishno Devi is like throughout the year. I don't need exact details but brief details like the expected temperatures, rainy season etc.

    Thank you for your help.

  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello there, welcome to the forum!

    Vaishno Devi Bhawan in Katra

    Brief Overview of Climate in Katra

    Katra experiences an extreme variation in climate depending on the season of the year. While summers can be a bit warm, winters can be cold and even has records of 3°C and below. You would also need to take into consideration that the Vaishno Devi Bhawan is located at a higher elevation than Katra itself. As such, temperatures there are slightly cooler even during summer and more so during the winter season with high chances of snowfall. Keep in mind that you'd be climbing upwards to reach the Bhawan so as you climb higher, temperatures go lower. But there isn't much of a big difference when it comes to temperatures between Katra and the Bhawan.

    Summary of Seasons in Katra

    Katra3°C to 15°C21°C to 40°C20°C to 38°C
    Adhkuwari1°C to 14°C15°C to 35°C14°C to 30°C
    Bhawan-2°C to 13°C15°C to 30°C14°C to 28°C
    So generally, there are three main seasons in Katra, as outlined in the table above. These are the seasons of winter, summer and monsoon. Depending on which region you are, there are some mild variations in temperatures, again as seen in the table above. So the further you move away from Katra, the lower the expected temperature is. Below, we would highlight the main differences between these seasons in Katra, as well as in Adhkuwari and the Bhawan itself.

    In-Depth Discussion of Seasons in Katra

    1. Winter - The winter season in Katra begins in October and lasts until February. The most comfortable months here are that of October and November as temperatures don't go lower than 15°C. But as soon as December sets in, until January, temperatures can reach the lower mark of 3°C and sometimes even lower. On the other hand, temperatures in Adhkuwari during this season can go as low as 1°C especially at the peak of winter. Even colder is the Bhawan, wherein temperatures can surely reach the below zero degree mark when in the peak of winter. As such, it is a must to bring heavy woolens during this time as well as shoes with good grip since snow can be hard to traverse through.

    If you are physically fit and won't be bringing small children or elderly with you, do visit Katra during the winter season. There is no rush of pilgrims during this season and as such, you can enjoy your pilgrimage. You won't need to queue that long even in the Adhkuwari where sometimes, during peak season, waiting times can be as long as 12 hours to 1 day. And you can even include the Bhairon Ghati to your yatra, which has almost the same temperatures as the Bhawan.

    If you're someone who gets cold easily, you can choose to do your yatra during October or November or even during February. Temperatures during these months are not that harsh and yet there is also not as many crowds or pilgrims in the region. Do bring woolens still so that you would be comfortable at the higher areas.

    2. Summer - The summer season in Katra begins in March and lasts until June. In Katra, temperatures can go as high as 40°C especially during May. But in the higher elevation areas of Adhkuwari and Bhawan, temperatures rarely exceed 35°C. Usually, the month of May is the hottest but still not as hot as the lower plains of the city. And since you're not going to be spending a lot of time in Katra anyway, you can still enjoy the climates in the higher areas.

    Unfortunately, this is the peak season as pilgrims rush to the region for their yatra. March and April are the Navratra months while the pleasant climate around April, May and June is seen as a good reason to take part in the yatra. As a result, queuing times are longer, especially for darshan in the Adhkuwari and the Bhawan itself. Your journey might take longer, not because of the heat or even the humidity, but because of the crowds themselves.

    If you cannot avoid this season, make sure that your schedules are very flexible as the queues can be quite long and unpredictable. You can also opt to skip darshan in the Adhkuwari but you can still visit it and pay your respect from the outside.

    3. Monsoon - The monsoon season in Katra begins in July and lasts until September. Temperatures are slightly lower during this season as compared to the summer season. Katra barely exceeds the 38°C mark while both Adhkuwari and Bhawan rarely exceed the 30°C mark. Humidity is high though so that's one downside of the season. Plus, there's an onset of moderate to heavy rainfalls around August and September but relatively lesser as compared to the other regions.

    This is also the off-peak seasons in Katra for pilgrims. If you do not mind the humidity, then this season would be perfect for you. Less pilgrims, less rush and more greenery add to that serene and spiritual yatra experience. You can visit all sections of the yatra, like the Adhkuwari and even the Bhairon Ghati. Do avoid the end of September and the beginning of October as the Navratri is celebrated during this time as well.

    Bring your own raincoat and umbrella too, just to be on the safe side. Shoes that have good grip are also necessary as the roads can be a bit slippery during this time.

    Have you decided yet which season would be the best for you? Good luck in choosing and I hope you have a wonderful pilgrimage.:)