From Katra town to Vaishno Devi (Durbar), which is 13 kilometres away, you must take a pony, a “dandi,” or walk. There are also coolies, which are called “Pithus.” There is also a daily Helicopter Booking Vaishno Devi to the Shrine. By following a set of steps, you can book a flight to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi by helicopter online.
What do you need to keep in mind?
- You can only get a Yatra Slip from the Yatra Registration Counter at the Tourist Reception Centre in Katra, which is next to the bus stand. If you don’t have a valid Yatra Slip, you can’t get through the Ban Ganga checkpoint.
- Get official receipts for all payments made to the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVSB) and private vendors. Ask to see official rate lists when you make payments.
- Only use the donation boxes that SMVSB gives you. At the Shrine Board’s donation counters in Katra (central office), Adhkawari, Sanji Chhat, and other places in the Bhawan, you can make a donation and get a receipt in writing.
- Under the Income Tax Act, gifts to the Shrine Board are not taxed. If you have any suggestions or complaints, please contact the Shrine Board’s Central Office in Katra, the Sub Divisional Magistrate or Tehsildar in Room No. 8, Kalika Bhawan, Durbar, or write to the Chief Executive Officer, SMVSB.
- Don’t try too hard when climbing. Take the paved path instead of the steps. Do not get comfortable in places where warning signs are posted. Do not break traffic rules or try to pass other people on difficult parts of the Route. • To keep the site sacred, do not play cards, smoke, or chew betel (paan) at Bhawan or on the Route. Do not paint, put up posters, or damage signboards, and don’t make the area dirty. All pilgrims believe in the Mata. Don’t play your radios or tape recorders too loudly or get in the way of other Yatris by blocking their paths. At the Katra Primary Health Centre and the Adhkawari and Bhawan dispensaries, you can see a doctor at any time. They are also available at the evening Clinic at the Katra bus stop, which is open from 2 to 8 p.m. At the Katra bus station, Banganga, and Sanji Chhat, the Medical Aid Centres run by the Shrine Board give pilgrims the help they need.
- Even in the summer, you need to wear light woollens at Bhawan at night. For the rest of the year, you need to wear heavy woollens at the Bhawan and Yatra base camp in Katra.
The Shrine Board runs a large number of cafeterias and viewing spots along the Route Track between Vaishno Devi Helicopter Booking and the Shrine, where pilgrims can get food, coffee, and cool drinks for free. The Shrine Board also runs Bhojanalyas (restaurants) at Katra, Adhkawari, Sanji Chhat, and at the Bhawan/Shrine to serve hygienically prepared meals to pilgrims without making a profit or losing money.
When pilgrims arrive at the Bhawan, they get a group number at the Slip (Parchi) Counter. This number is matched with the Yatra Slip they got at Katra. When the number of the group is called, the Yatri must wait in line at Gate 2 to go to the sanctum sanctorum.
While you are in the cave, think about the Holy Darshan of the Mother Goddess in Her Three-Pindi forms: Maha Kali, Maha Lakshmi or Maha Vaishnavi, and Maha Saraswati. On the way back, holy water can be taken from the Mata’s feet.