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Reema Bhalla Jul 28 2014

What to do on a 2 day trip to Vaishno Devi Temple?

Kanika Nevatia Jul 28 2014
2 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

Planning a visit to Vaishno Devi Temple? Now that there’s a direct train connecting New Delhi and Katra, travelling to Vaishno Devi has become very convenient. This is what to do on a 2-day trip to Vaishno Devi, the sacred temple dedicated to Goddess Durga.

Photo of Vaishno Devi Bhawan (by Abhishek Chandra)

If you decide to take the train, you will reach Katra at about 05:10 AM in the morning. Ideally, starting the long darshan walk after an overnight train journey is not advisable. You should hire a local taxi and head straight to Patnitop by road. Since the journey will not take more than 2 hours, you will have plenty of time to soak in the views at this picturesque hill station before you get back to Katra. (If your hotel allows early morning check in, you could leave your luggage at the hotel and freshen up before you start.)

Photo of Patnitop (by Saroj Kumar)

You will find quite a few eating joints on your way to Patnitop but there are many options for a hearty meal in the town itself. Look for a place selling some local delicacies and you are sure to be in for a treat. The rajma-chawal served in this part of the country is divine and definitely worth a try.

Photo of Rajma Chawal (by Ankur's)

Once you've explored the hill station, head back to Katra and check into your hotel. Hotel KC Residency, Hotel Asia Vaishno Devi and Hotel Devi Grand are good options. You could also use the ixigo hotels app to check out other hotel options in Katra. Making advance reservations is always a good idea.

Photo of K.C. Residency (from the official website)

Enjoy the rest of the evening exploring the city of Katra and grab a nice dinner at the hotel or at a local food joint. Most hotels will arrange a “Darshan Parchi”, a slip that you need to start your pilgrimage journey. You can also buy a Darshan Parchi at the Vaishno Devi Shrine Board office located near the Katra Bus Stand. It is best to start your journey as early as 04:00 AM to 05:00 AM in the morning.

Photo of Vaishno Devi Entrance (by Abhishek Chandra)

There are various options for reaching the main Vaishno Devi Temple. You could go by foot, horse, palki or even pre-book your seat on a helicopter. There are also battery-operated auto rickshaws available from the halfway point. Whatever option you choose, the entire trip from Katra to the temple, which is also called the “Bhawan”, a stretch of approximately 13 km one way, should not take you more than 12 to 15 hours. This is including time taken for darshan.

Photo of Vaishno Devi (by Raju hardoi)

You could also include a visit to the Bhairavnath Temple in your trip, which should take you a few hours extra. However, if you also wish to visit the Ardh Kuwari Cave, which falls on the halfway mark from Katra to the Bhawan, you should start your pilgrimage the previous evening itself as the wait to get in on certain occasions can be very long. In this case, you will have to spend the night at rooms near the Bhawan, for which pre-booking is absolutely necessary.

Photo of Bhairavnath Temple (by Abhishek Chandra)

The Vaishno Devi Shrine Board has made ample arrangements for food, beverages and rest points along the way ensuring you have a good time while you reach the temple. Enjoy the journey as you chant the lines--“Chalo bulawa aaya hai, mata ne bulaya hai” (It’s time to visit the temple as Goddess Durga is calling us).

Photo of Vaishno Devi Bhawan (by Pranay Rao)

Be sure to make it back in time to collect your bags from the hotel (most will allow you to check out in the morning and keep your luggage in storage) and catch the 10:55 PM train back to Delhi. This itinerary for a 2-day trip to Vaishno Devi allows you to carry out the pilgrimage at an easy pace, and should be helpful.
There are various places of interest in and around Patnitop. The list is as under : 1. Sanasar 2. Nathatop 3. GauriKund 4. Baglihar Dam Patnitop is famous for its pine tress and peaceful surroundings, away from the crowd and pollution of metros. For more about patnitop log on to www.patnitop.net
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