Mata Vaishno Devi, Katra

Mata Vaishno Devi

Mata Vaishno Devi snapshot

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173 Ratings & 104 Reviews

About Mata Vaishno Devi

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Mata Vaishno Devi is a manifestation of Mother Goddess and is popularly known as Mata Rani and Vaishnavi. The Holy Cave of Mata Vaishno Devi is located at an altitude of 5,200 ft in the Trikuta Hills, which is known as the Bhawan. Tourists have to trek for 12 km from the base camp of Katra to reach the holy cave, which is about 98 ft long. This steep climb can either be covered by foot or ponies or by palanquins.

The Darshan of Mata Rani is open throughout the year. The deity is in the shape of three natural rock form known as Pindies. Maha Kali, Maha Laxmi and Maha Saraswati constitute the holy Pindies.

The cave does not have any idols, pictures and statues inside. It is believed that the cave presents with darshan of about 330 million Hindu Gods and Goddesses, who are said to have worshipped Mata Rani. Moreover, it is believed that during pujan and aarti, all the Gods and Goddesses arrive to pay their respect to the Mother.

What travellers are saying about this Sightseeing

Experience scale
  • Excellent 87
  • Very Good 14
  • Good 3
  • Average 0
  • Below Average 0
  • Poor 0
  • Terrible 0
Travellers recommend
  • Best Time:  During Day
  • Length of visit:  More than 3hrs
Facilities available
  • Food available for purchase
  • Bathroom facilities
  • Camera/Video allowed
  • Wearing of shoes/footwear allowed
  • Lockers/Storage

104 traveller reviews for Mata Vaishno Devi

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Abhishek  Singh

  • Connoisseur
  • Abhishek Singh
  • Lives in Mumbai
  • 213 photos
  • 30 Reviews
  •  62 helpful votes
  •  4033 readers

"Fastrack visit to Vaishno Devi Shrine" new review

  • 6.0/7
  • Posted 3 weeks ago
It was a very hectic trip I had to complete within 2 days from Mumbai. Boarded a late night flight to Delhi and then morning flight to Jammu from Delhi. Landed in Jammu by 9 am. Got an auto from outside airport gate to bus stand, paid Rs 100, almost 15-20 mins ride. The buses and shared cabs are available at bus stand, which drops at Katra. Buses are cheap, 60 bucks each but it takes around 2 to 2. 5 hours.
After reaching Katra I headed straight to the hotel and spent some time relaxing. Due to time constraint I decided to keep my Mobile, belt and wallet at the hotel as these things are not allowed at the Bhavan (Main Temple) entrance and one need to stand in queue for getting lockers there. Please check the Shrine website for detailed information before planning your trip.
Day was bright and sunny and the temperature was around 30 degrees, surprising to feel heat in October. Hence, I decided to start at 4:30pm. The starting point is Banganga (around 1 to 1. 5 km from Katra bus stand). I already had online (saved time) parchi booked which is must to carry to get an entry at Banganga. The parchi is issued free of cost online and offline by the Shrine Board. Better do not purchase prasad and chunnis from the foothill as it is expensive and a burden to climb with. Moreover, the shrine board has Bhaint (for purchasing Prasad and chunnis at official rates) counter at the entrance of Vaishno Devi's Temple (Bhawan) at the hilltop. Along the way there is counter where one must stamp the online parchi to authenticate the further journey. The most of the stretch is covered with the shed and the pathway is well laid. There are other options available to climb such as one can hire a pony, pithhu or palki. For a pony from Banganga to Bhawan, the charge was Rs 700 if I am correct. The official rate chart for all these are displayed at several locations, I saw people negotiating as well.
There are numerous shops such as eateries, tea/coffee stalls, pharmacy, massage centres and shops for puja related stuffs, etc. The Shrine Board has its restaurants on the way at several locations. The rest rooms are provided at various locations along the climb. Lathis are also available at shops for Rs 20 each which when you return can get you back Rs 10. Just after travelling a km I started sweating like a hell as it was hot. Then I changed my strategy, I decided to take a break of 5-10 mins for every km reached, kept hydrating myself and  took stairs wherever possible. The stairs are provided at several locations with the mention of number of steps. On the way up, do enjoy the scenic view of green mountain ranges and the distant view of Katra. Beware of monkeys, do not carry eating stuff or eat in open, they won't hesitate to accompany you. First stop is Charan Paduka which is at around 1 km from Banganga. After around 6 kms climb I reached Adhkuwari. There was a huge crowd and the people were awaiting their turn for the group numbers which was displayed at the entrance to get an entry for darshan. This place was bit crowded as many people were resting at this point. I had to skip Adhkuwari and I continued further. Are accommodation facilities provided at different locations, for further details you may like to go through the Shrine's website. Even one can confirm and book their accommodation online (most of the online bookings are required to be done 4 days in advance)
After further 3 km climb,  I reached at Sanjhichhat. Temperature was getting lower with every km climb up. Infact the cold wind actually made my journey comfortable. Depending upon the weather, one may chose to carry woolen cloth or shawl. During interaction with locals, they told that from mid of October till February the temperature goes down significantly. During peak winter, the temperature at Bhawan reaches to minus level. The Sanjhichhat, the highest point, is the location where helicopter drops and from here on one has to cover around 2 to 3 walk till Mata's Shrine. Infact this section is easy to cover by walk.
. It was such a relief and joy to reach the Bhawan. At the entrance of Bhawan, there are cloak rooms, helicopter booking, enquiry counter, Prasad counter where you can buy prasad and chunni, restaurants, No leather belts, wallets, electronic gadgets and other belongings except prasad are allowed inside the temple, and it is to be deposited at the cloak room. I already kept all such stuffs at hotel except shoes which I put it on the open racks  kept just before entry to the cloak room. There are designated bathing Ghats located near the temple The security guy asked me to produce the parchi which he collected. It is very important to keep the parchi without which security do not permit the entry. Just after the entry in to the temple building, the coconut (part of Bhaint) was collected by the Shrine guys instead provided the tokens in return. As it was Navratri (2nd day), the Bhawan premises and the temple was decorated with flowers and lighting beautifully. On that night, it took around 2 hours to get the darshan of the Mataji's Pindis, it was just 3-5 seconds glimpse. Felt blessed and happier. On return from the Bhawan, there are donation counters and Prasad counter. By producing the tokens provided earlier I collected the coconuts from the prasad counter and left the premises with the satisfaction of Mata's darshan. Next destination is Bhairon ghati which is further 2 kms from the Bhawan.
On return it was relatively easy walk, took stairs wherever possible. With few breaks I returned to Banganga within 2 and half hours. It was 3 am by then. I had a flight to catch from Jammu on the same noon so I was in hurry. At the exit of Banganga, the autowalas demanded Rs 250 to drop at Katra Bus Stand which is just a few kms away. I with fellow devotees shared an auto and paid 50 each and reached hotel.   Slept for few hours and then left Katra by cab which took 1. 5 hours to reach Jammu airport and reached Mumbai by night. Thus this beautiful journey ended and became a part of wonderful memories.
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Sunder acharya

  • Tourist
  • Sunder acharya
  • 4 Reviews
  •  153 readers

"Spiritual experience"

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted 2 months ago
We recently visited Vaishno Devi Shrine. It was a very good experience for us. The shrine was very clean and well maintained and excellent support in all kinds.

We stayed at the IRCTC guest house which was very ideal for us. Due to bad weather we did not get helicopter ride uphill but still we visited the shrine on horses and had a very fulfilling experience.
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Swateek Jena

  • Explorer
  • Swateek Jena
  • Lives in Bengalooru
  • 10 photos
  • 17 Reviews
  •  17 helpful votes
  •  8150 readers

"Nice place"

  • 6.5/7
  • Posted 3 months ago
The only reason why you might want to visit Katra. The Shrine Board has made good arrangements of food and shelter along the way so that devotees don't face any trouble through their journey.
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Siddharth Arora

  • Scout
  • Siddharth Arora
  • Lives in Delhi
  • 4 Reviews
  •  63 helpful votes
  •  4487 readers

"A Perfect Place for devotees of Mata Vaishno Devi"

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted Jun 22, 2016
Go there to get calmness and peace in hills of Maa Vaishno Devi. When you start your journey by foot, you will come to know that what did you do wrong and right in your life and what should you do next to get blessings of Maa Vaishno Devi as you get enough time to rate your activities done in past and you meet yourself. But you will have to be honest with yourself.
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Bachhraj surana

  • Tourist
  • Bachhraj surana
  • 1 Review
  •  459 readers

"Nice Visit"

  • 6.5/7
  • Posted Jun 6, 2016
Best place to visit. Enjoyed a lot with family. Everything is available on the way for food and drink. Battery car is also good option for senior citizen for up-down from bhavan.
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Subrata Paul

  • Tourist
  • Subrata Paul
  • Lives in Barasat
  • 4 Reviews
  •  2545 readers

"A holy place"

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted Apr 22, 2016
First time I came to this temple in May 2007. I trust that some hidden power is situated in side of this temple. Goddess Maa Vaishno Devi has fulfilled my wish. I must come again when my son will be 12 years, to get blessing of Maa.
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Vikash Thakur

  • Tourist
  • Vikash Thakur
  • Lives in New Delhi
  • 1 photo
  • 6 Reviews
  •  1 helpful vote
  •  1661 readers

"The overall experience was very good"

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted Apr 12, 2016
I visited Vaishno Devi with My Relatives. We reached Katra by Bus from Delhi to Katra. In night, after reaching Jammu the bus moves slowly. slowly the temperature of the place started getting down as the bus was moving forward. The mountains were so beautiful when we reached Katra. We booked a Dharamsala there in Katra. The food in katra was okay. Most of hotels have RAJMA. To reach Vaishno Devi we registered yourself for the entrance and after 4-5 hours of continuous travel we reached vaishnodevi. The overall experience was very good and we returned Next day in morning. My legs were paining because of such a long travel. I got foot massage in the market. We enjoyed a lot during our journey.
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Dheleepan G v

  • Scout
  • Dheleepan G v
  • Lives in Chennai
  • 6 Reviews
  •  1 helpful vote
  •  4030 readers

"Peaceful and splendid temple!"

  • 6.5/7
  • Posted Mar 26, 2016
The visit is absolutely worth every penny spent. Though it involves lot of time to travel and involves tiresome journeys one would love to be there. The temple is so beautiful (Goddess is inside a cave). One has to climb 14 km to reach the temple. If one can't walk he can take a Pony at nominal rates or take an Helicopter (getting ticket is tough). But having a return Helicopter ticket entitles you a VIP darshan. Whatever be the crowd you can complete darshan in one hour max. As it might be cold carry heavy woolens in Winter and light woolens in Summer. Travelling as light as possible is advisable.
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Rahul Choudhary

  • Tourist
  • Rahul Choudhary
  • Lives in Ara
  • 3 Reviews
  •  7453 readers

"An Unforgettable trip"

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted Feb 29, 2016
Me and my family went there in 2009. It's been 7 years but I still remember everything about that trip. We reached Katra around 10 am and started the journey to Vaishno Devi. Many people with their friends and families were also going. It took us around 7 hours of walking to reach the temple. We were tired but still excited. We finally entered the temple around 7 pm, that moment was best after all those pujas we finally slept for 2-3 hours and then went to Bhairo Baba temple and did all the puja. Then we started to leave and we reached katra around 8 am, had a long sleep in the hotel. It was one of the best trips of my life, unforgettable.
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Aditya Agrawal

  • Connoisseur
  • Aditya Agrawal
  • Lives in Raigarh
  • 32 Reviews
  •  5 helpful votes
  •  6383 readers

"Peaceful and calming"

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted Feb 24, 2016
I have visited Mata Vaishno Devi twice and has done the yatra by walking. However, there are options of Horse and Pithu but whenever it comes to Darshan, doing the same by walking gives the best satisfaction. One can visit anytime of the year and take the blessings of Mata Vaishno Devi.
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