Katra Things to Do

  • Pathway leading to the shrine
    Pathway leading to the shrine
    by vpas
  • Things to Do
    by vpas
  • Things to Do
    by vpas

Most Recent Things to Do in Katra

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    Take a helicopter ride to the temple

    by vpas Written Mar 13, 2013

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    You could take a ride on a chopper from Sanjichat to the temple.However it is about 2.5 kms from the helipad to the temple .This distance could be covered either on foot, horse back or carried in palanquins.
    The helicopter ride costs Rs.800/per person per one way. Most people prefer to go by the helicopter and come back either on foot or on horse back.
    There are two companies that operate choppers and are priced the same. Though there are choppers flying every 5 minutes it is essential to book at least one month in advance especially for the onward journey. You may find last minute tickets for the return ride.
    They check the weight of the passengers before deciding on the number of passengers in each trip.

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    Get a foot massage!

    by vpas Written Mar 13, 2013

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    At the chowk area in Katra, there are young boys who would massage your feet for a very nominal amount of 30 to 50 Rupees. They do a fabulous job and it is indeed much needed after the tedious climb uphill.

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    Trek up the Trikoota Hills to have Darshan of Devi

    by vpas Written Mar 13, 2013

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    Trekking up the 14 km path to the shrine of Goddess Vaishnodevi is quite challenging. It is also fun and energizing in a way. The fervent chants of devotees all through the path are inspiring and push one to tread the steep path.
    On the way to the shrine one has to cross --
    Ban Ganga or the place where the Goddess shot an arrow to get water to quench the thirst of Hanumanji.
    Charan Paduka, where the foot print of the Goddess is located in a small shrine.
    Ardh Kuari, where the Goddess rested for 12 years before proceeding uphill. There is a shrine here. One needs to register and get a token number for entry here. The crowds are often huge and one might need to wait for a minimum of 7 hours here. There are places to rest and toilets all through. One could also rent woolen blankets for free at the specific counter in Ardh Kuari. One could also by pass this temple and proceed to the main shrine directly.
    After Ardh Kuari, the path is comparatively less steep. The view from here onwards is beautiful. One would also find many monkeys so beware. Many people climb with a stick in hand to help in the ascend and also to ward off monkeys.
    There are many shops selling all kinds of refreshments -- eats and drinks etc. and also offerings to be carried into the temple along the pathway.
    This trek would take anywhere between 3 hours to 7 hours depending on your fitness and stamina.

    Pathway leading to the shrine Me at almost the fag end of the climb
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    • Hiking and Walking

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    Be soaked in fervent devotion at the temple

    by vpas Written Mar 12, 2013

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    The Vaishno Devi Temple draws people from all over the world. It is mesmerizing to see the fervent devotion and the spirit of the devotees. The hike up the hill to the shrine is 14 kms. The first leg is quite steep while the second leg after the shrine of Ardh Kuari is easier. The temple is open 24 hours. There is tight security and one has to get an entry pass/ parchi prior to climbing the hill. It is available online in the following link --- Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board :: Plan a Yatra :: Registration
    https://www.maavaishnodevi.org/planyatra-registration.aspx
    You could also get the Parchi or pass at the Jammu airport, railway station, and at Katra town.
    While outside Katra the pass would cost Rs.50, in Katra it is free of cost. If you have paid for the pass, after the Darshan you can collect your prasad at the counter near Katra bus stop.

    An old original Photo of Shri Vaishno Devi
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    The Temple. Some very handy tips!!

    by toonhut Updated Jul 31, 2011

    You can find a plethora of info. on the Vaishnodevi temple from its official website, which is the main reason you will ever visit Katra anyway. Here are some pretty useful tips, if I may say so myself, that I wish I had known before I went.

    1. Though you know the temple will be crowded since it is perhaps the second most visited Hindu temple, seeing the beehive chaotic activity at Katra can dampen your spirits thinking, "How much worse is it going to be up there!" Don't let it. It is crowded at the top too but manageable and worth it.

    2. The views along the way keep giving you a lot of fuel, mainly after you reach the mule-free zone of the walk. To see rolling fog over undisturbed green hills hits you in the right spot. The sights were much more beautiful than I had imagined.

    3. Also encouraging is the sight of some devotees who walk barefoot all the 13.5 km and back. Through mud, mule presence, and anything else! One man was coming down walking backwards so that he still faces the Goddess and does not show his back to her. Another man going up was kneeling full body flat-to-the-ground after every 6 feet. Both at 3 in the morning.

    4. The ascend itself is very doable. It should be no problem at all for anyone reasonably active. It is a walk, not a trek. Take the shortcut stairs whenever you see them if you want to cut the distance by a couple of kilometers.

    5. Once you reach the top, stamp your ticket (which you obviously took from Katra before you left) but put any of your stuff and shoes/socks in a cloak room BEFORE you get in the line. That alone can take some time. Otherwise you will just have to toss everything to the side and hope they remain there when you get back.

    6. From the start of the line to when you finally enter the cave is around 1.5 km. Yes. It will take about 2 hours through all the zigzags. [You will rejoice in the comfort of your shoes at reunion :) ]

    7. Right before you enter the cave, the roof of the long tunnel leading up to it is all wet from 'holy' water. The water is in contact with the lights and wiring that illuminates the cave. Really.

    8. Avoid reaching Bhavan between 7-9 pm because the line stops moving for those two hours to perform evening prayers. After 9 pm you start to move and take another hour to reach.

    9. The least crowded time to visit: January and February. Peak of winter and some snow. Worst time: May and June because of summer vacations. July is also bad because the troops of Amarnath visitors also come here.

    Have a good time.

    Gorge below Bhavan The pathway near Himkoti At night you can't see anything but the bare path Walking with the fog Mother and child
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    Be carried on a palanquin!

    by vpas Written Mar 13, 2013

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    To go uphill to visit the shrine many people who are unable to climb take the help of these "palanquins" or palkis either for half way or the entire stretch.

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    Avoid horses unless you are truly unfit!

    by vpas Written Mar 13, 2013

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    Many people use horses and ponies to ride to the shrine. However, my sincere plea to you is to avoid the horses unless you are truly unfit or if you have young children who may need help.

    Decoratiive horses ready to carry people
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    • Horse Riding
    • Religious Travel

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Katra Things to Do

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