Suggestions needed for Vaishno Devi Yatra and Katra stay

#1 Oct 16th, 2016, 02:39
Join Date:
Sep 2016
Bangalore / Kolkata
  • saurav_k is offline
Hi Friends

Reaching 21st Oct 11:30 AM Jammu airport.
Have a train to Katra at 1 PM. Booked train ticket for the scenic journey. If train ticket doesn't confirms, wewill take bus to Katra and reach at about 3-3.30 PM in Katra.

Returning via Jammu-Delhi Rajdhani on 23rd Oct, 7 PM from Jammu.

Need some suggestions and guidance in planning the the rest of the trip:

1) My mother and sister will be going with me. Our plan is to Take rest in a hotel on 21st evening after reaching Katra and start as early as possible for Yatra - Preferably midnight. Any issues here? Is it OK to start at around 12-1:00 AM?

2) I want to book Yatra parchi online. It's available and I have registered at Shrine board website as a devotee. For which date do I need to book Yatra parchi - 21st or 22nd? as per the plan above, as technically we will be starting 22nd oct but will it be considered 21st night? Any other formalities regarding yatra parchi to be keep in mind?

3) Trying to book some hotel in Katra online near bus stand. Approx budget 800-1200 (including charges for extra person as we are 3. Saw some options like - Hotel Parkash, Jai Ma Inn Hotel - Are these good? Reviews are mixed but mostly good. Pictures shown in ebooking sites mostly look like of the higher category rooms so not able to understand if they will give good rooms in classic or regular category. Any good hotel suggestions? Preferably some hotel which provide pickups / drops to railway station / bus stand, banganga etc.

How is Niharika Bhavan for stay?

4) For the Yatra - What are the options available - Battery cars, Horses, walk? How to avail these. Are these available 24x7?

5) What to carry to the yatra - clothes, food/snacks? What items are not allowed like mobile, camera etc - where to keep them if they are allowed till certain point - some more details if you feel would be important to plan better - plz share

6) Plan is to comfortably return from Yatra by afternoon 22nd Oct - how long will it take? Not much rush here, even if we reach by evening it's OK. Plan is to rest 22nd evening and night in hotel as all will be tired.

7) 23rd morning - what should we do - any casual attractions in Katra to be covered by 2-3 PM or something in Jammu?

8) I checked since last 1 month, but the only 50 slots for morning and evening aatka aarti darshan were all booked on shrine board website. Any other way to attend the aarti? Any other important booking to be made online at shrine board website?

Anything else, I might have missed, plz add and suggest.
#2 Oct 16th, 2016, 10:19
Join Date:
Jun 2012
New Delhi
  • rajatchakraborty is offline
The yatra parchi will be stamped at banganga check post. So you shall take the online booking according to your entry date at banganga. From your itinerary, it seems to be 22nd.
Good hotels charge about 1500-2000. Smaller ones inside the bylanes will charge 200-500, for 2-3 hours rest.
I stayed at ardhkumari dorms while returning after darshan. These were surprisingly good.
They have opened the newly paved and covered road from ardhkumari to bhawan. I could see battery powered vehicles carrying yatris in this route. Fortunately no mule, ponnies in this route.
One suggestion, you should have a torchlight / headlamp if you are going to vaironghanti from bhawan at night. Sometimes you may see small wild animals like jackals. Otherwise the kids may get scared.
Ponny, pitthu, dandi, kandi all rates are indicated on the notice boards at banganga entry area. (you may give some tips to the dandi guys, its really tough job). Ask Pitthu guy to walk together, and take rest while you are resting.
AVOID THE SAGAR RATNA RESTAURANT AT KATRA. I went with my friends and their families, and we had a very bad experience at sagar ratna. They have habit of overbilling, and if you point out and object, they misbehave with the tourist.

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