Travel tips: Planning for Vaishno Devi Yatra, so before going, know the new rules and complete information!
It is not hidden from anyone how important is Mata Vaishno Devi Yatra for the devotees of Mata Rani and that is why more than 1 crore devotees visit Katra every year to have a darshan of Mata Rani.
Vaishno Devi Yatra is completed on foot for about 13 kilometers, but with the blessings of the mother, all the devotees complete this difficult journey.
Vaishno Devi Shrine Board and Administration are constantly making new efforts to make the Yatra very convenient for the devotees and with these efforts, new updates related to Vaishno Devi Yatra are always given to the devotees.
We are going to share with all of you in this article the new information that we got during our visit some time ago.
New Tarakot Marg of Vaishno Devi
How do travel registration?
As you may know that always all the devotees going on Vaishno Devi Yatra were registered at the registration counter at Katra and they were given Yatra Slip which was checked at the check post before Yatra.
There has been a slight change in this process now. You can get your travel registration done as before by showing your ID at the registration counter. Along with this, the live photo of every passenger at the counter is also taken by the computer.
You will then get an RFID card in place of the slip which you have to wear around your neck throughout your journey. This arrangement has been made for the convenience and security of the passengers and through this card tracking of every passenger is done during the entire journey.
Let us tell you important information after registering yourself, you have to start your journey within 6 hours and you can travel at any time of the day or night as per your convenience.
Where is the registration counter located?
The counter located in the main market of Katra is located near the circle near the Katra bus stand and there are two more counters of which one is located at Tarakot Marg entry.
Passenger registration runs continuously 24*7 and it is completely free of cost and no fee is charged from anyone for this.
All the devotees can use facilities like horse rides or palanquins to complete this 13-kilometer journey.
The prices of these rides are very reasonably fixed by the Shrine Board and only registered people get these rides done so you can avail of these rides without any hesitation.
Along with this, there is a facility of trolleys, etc. for small children, so that all the devotees can visit the mother with their children without any problem.
Also, if you want to complete this journey in the shortest possible time, then you can enjoy the helicopter service for which the ticket price per person for one way (Katra to Sanjichhat or Sanjichhat to Katra) ticket is fixed at Rs.1830.
You can also book the helicopter online as per your travel plan. The distance from Sanjichhat where the helicopter drops you to Bhawan is about 2 km which you can cover on foot or by horse, palanquin, etc.
Apart from this, like most devotees, you can also complete this entire 13-kilometer journey on foot. For the passengers, good arrangements have been made for washrooms, restaurants, and medical facilities on the route, due to which pedestrians also do not face any problems.
Walking tour options
Katra to Ardhkumari
If we start going from Katra to Ardhkumari, then an old route that exists for many years, which is about 6 kilometers long route starting from Banganga to Ardhkumari. If we talk about difficulty, then this latest route which is known as the Tarakot route is a bit difficult. However, the distance to Ardhkumari on this route is about 1 kilometer less than the new route. But on this route, pedestrians, horses, etc. also run, due to which the pedestrians have some trouble and also due to the old route, you will find a lot of crowd of passengers on it.
Another way from Katra to Ardhkumari starts about 2 km from Katra bus stand where you can easily go by taxi which is known as Tarakote Marg.
This route has been started some time ago and this route is very easy from the point of view of climbing, as well as you will get more cleanliness on this route and you will not find horses and ponies, etc. so that you can travel without any problem.
Though the distance from the starting point of this route to Ardhakumari is about 7 KM which is 1 KM more than the old route this trek has very less climb than the old trek so it is very easy to complete this trek as compared to the old route And along with this you will also get to see very beautiful views on this route.
There are few restaurants etc. on this route, but apart from this, arrangements for washrooms and drinking water have been made well. Along with this, the huge langar being run by the Shrine Board is also located on this route.
Ardhkumari to Bhavan
There are two routes to reach Vaishno Devi Bhawan from Ardhkumari, one of which is known as the Hathimatha route, which is an old route and a very difficult climbing route. Also, there is no facility of any restaurant, etc. on this route, so we would advise you not to choose this route.
Apart from this, there is a new route known as Himkoti Marg which is run by the Shrine Board with lots of restaurants and other facilities. Also, climbing on this route is much easier than the old route.
After reaching Bhawan, you can deposit your belongings and footwear in the locker operated by the Shrine Board and then visit the Mata.
Vaishno Devi Bhawan to Bhairav Ghati
You can reach Bhairav Valley from Bhavan by foot, but this climb is a bit difficult because of the steepness. You can use the stairs from which you can quickly reach Bhairav Baba's temple.
Along with this, a ropeway has also been started by the Shrine Board to reach Bhairav Ghati from Bhawan, whose ticket can be taken from the counter located near Bhawan. This service is operational only during the day time with which you can reach Bhairav temple from Bhawan in just 3 minutes.