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Reema Bhalla Jul 27 2013

How to plan the Yatra to Vaishno Devi Temple?

Reet Cheema Jul 27 2013
0 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

The holy cave of Mata Vaishno Devi is located in the folds of three mountains called Trikuta Hills, just 62 km from Jammu.

The yatra

The Vaishno Devi shrine and pilgrimage are managed by the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB). It’s one of the best maintained pilgrimages in India. The 12-km-long uphill footpath is well paved and winds through hills of great natural beauty.

Katra (50 km from Jammu) is the town at the base of the hills, from where the yatra begins. An easy mode to access Katra is catch a Delhi to Jammu train and then hire one of the Jammu to Katra cabs. Also, checking the PNR status of your ticket is advisable if there is the need. All pilgrims need to book at one of the two Yatra Registration Centres (YRC) in Katra. After registration, one needs to cross the checkpost located near Banganga within 6 hrs. Mobile phones, video cameras and other electronic equipment are not allowed beyond this checkpost.

The maximum number of visitors is limited to 23,000-24,000 per day. If the crowd is large, waiting slips are issued, which in turn secure the final registration. May-June-July, the Navaratras and any block of holidays see peak crowds.

Plan for at least two days for the trip; the waiting period at the cave can be as long as 12-20 hrs though the yatra can be completed in a day during the lean period. The time taken for the yatra itself depends on your fitness level, the weather and crowds. At various points, you come across two routes to choose from — the old one has steep steps, the newer track has a much gentler gradient. Ponies, palanquins and porters are available. The important points along the yatra are Darshani Deodhi, Banganga, Chara Paduka, Indraprastha, Adkuwari, Garbha Joon, Himkoti, Haathi Matha, Sanjhhi Chhat, Bhavan, Sher ka Panja and Bhairon Mandir.

The ‘shrine’

Finally, the path goes through a narrow cave, which is closed when the crowd is large; this is when you go through a newer corridor. At the end of the cave or corridor is the raised marble platform on which the goddess reveals herself in a natural rock formation. There are no statues, pictures or idols inside.

Tourist/ SMVDSB offices

Office of the Chief Exec Officer

SMVDSB, Katra.

Phone: +91-1991-232238

Website: https://www.maavaishnodevi.org/

Office of the Senior Manager

SMVDSB, Niharika Complex, Katra

Phone: +91-1991-232125

Office of the Dy Div Manager

SMVDSB, Vaishnavi Dham, Near Rly Station, Jammu.

Phone: +91-191-2473270/75

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