Welcome to Katra (Gateway of Mata Vaisno Devi Shrine)

In order to visit the Holy Shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi one has to reach Katra first, this is the base camp for onward journey lying at the feet of Trikuta Hills. Katra is a small town of Jammu & Kashmir situated around 50kms away from Jammu takes 2hrs ride. Katra town, it is situated at an altitude of 2500ft above sea level. This is the last point uptill which any modern transport can go but now few Helicopter service providers started their service till Sanjichatt. Katra is around 2hours journey from Jammu. It is a very fast growing town in Jammu & Kashmir. There is a Railway station and bus stand in under progress, it will complete by next 2years of time span. There are many Hotels, Resorts, Coffee Shops, Restaurants and Transporters came up with many new facilities. Katra has a long bazaar stretching from bus stand to Chintamani. One can easily get the articles of daily use. There are many Bhentas (offerings to the deity) are available here.

From Katra a track of approx. 12kms takes pilgrims to the Holy Shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi. One can undertake this track either by foot, on Horses/Ponies or Palanquins, many pilgrims prefer to go on foot. This track can be undertaken only upon completion of the registration formalities at Katra town.

YATRA PARCHI/YATRA REGISTRATION SLIP:
This is the most important formality happened in Katra. Every individual pilgrim should register themselves at YATRA RESGISTRATION COUNTER before undertaking the track, This is very much mandatory before start the journey, this is a free service offered by Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board. The Yatra Registration Counter (YRC) situated near the Bus Stand of Katra. Under this registration one has to register the  name along with the number of companions. Yatra Parchi is a documentary permission to proceed journey to the Holy Shrine. All has to remember that the Yatra parchi is Valid for 6hours since the time of issue, and one has to cross first check post at Banganga, it is approx. 1.5kms from YRC. There is also a second Yatra Registration Counter located near the second bus stand on Udhampur road. This counter has been started to reduce pressure on the main Registration Counter. The timings of both the YRCs are from 6.00am to 11.00pm.  

Must Know Informations about YATRA.
All visitors are automatically and compulsorily insured against any casualty on their way to Holy Shrine. The amount of Insurance is Rs. 1,00,000/- for major and Rs. 25,000/- for minor. This insurance is valid only for accidental deaths, not natural deaths like heart attacks.

All pilgrims are requested to carry most basic and essential items like Warm Cloths, Tourch, Hand Sticks, important medicines etc.

Since the Holy Pindis are situated in a cave, group visits for Darshan are not possible. The system of Darshans is thus through a continuously moving queues, round the clock, Hence a limited number of pilgrims can have Darshan every day. Darshan are not allowed during the time of Poojan and Aarati in the morning and evenings.

All pilgrims are requested to cooperate with security personnel during security check, this formality is for the sake of pilgrims.