Vaishno Devi Darshan and Patnitop
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Vaishno Devi Darshan and Patnitop

Dear Friends,

I have gone through the website many times before embarking on any of my trips.So i feel like giving back my experience to the website and many of it's users.Being an budget traveller i used to plan everything before hand.So i booked the Yatri parchi online in the website and that saves lot of time during the yatra.

Well me (Electronics Manager,34 years of age) and my wife (Teacher,30 years of age) planned for Vaishno Devi trip during the Half yearly holidays in the December last week.So i took one week leave from my office for the Pilgrimage trip.We booked Tamilnadu express train from Chennai to Delhi on 23rd December Night,but due to fog and late arrival of train,the departure
got delayed by 5 hours and the train reached Delhi by almost 12 hours late.So kindly plan your journey taking into account the delay factor for the onward journey during the winter season.By the way you can get good Dinner in the Anjappar Hotel opposite to the Rippon Building in the Chennai Central area rather than buying the sub standard railway station food.

From the New Delhi station we took the Uttar Sampark Kranti Express (which is the fastest train to reach Jammu from New Delhi).It reached Jammu by 9 AM (almost 2 hours late).When we come out of the Jammu Station we can take the bus to Katra and they charge you 75 Rupees and when we travel from Katra to Jammu,it is only 30 or 40 rupees.During the Katra
journey buses use to stop for an tea break and once more for the police checking (Ladies and Children need not get down.).Since it was off season the Hotels were pretty cheap .Even though i have advance booked an Hotel
through Stayzilla website by paying only 10% of the total amount,i ignored the same and went for the Hotel Hari Resort in the Banganaga area for 600 Rupees only (It used to cost alteast 1700 Rupees during peak time).We took bath in the Hotel itself and started our yatra by around 1PM.Since i booked my yatri parchi online,i have to verify it after the main entrance and they photograph you and ask for the PAN or Aadhar card proof used during the online booking process.We were walking at around 2 KM /Hour speed and reached Adhkuwari by around 4PM.Since Adhkuwari was closed in the Evening from 4 to 7 for Aarti,we only took the group number there and proceeded for the Vaishno Devi Darshan.Luckily it was not so cold and we walked happily
chanting "Jai Mata Di" during the steep walk.We took many breaks during the walk and reached the Main Bhawan by around 7.30 PM.We can buy the coconut and prasad from the Bhaint Shop for 10/20/40 Rupees.

Since Darshan was closed during Aarti there was some huge crowd of atleast 2000 people waiting in the queue.We have to wait for atleast 1 hour to deposit our luggage and the shoes (Kindly deposit everything including the
mobile,purse,belt,pen,comb.etc) in the Cloak Room due to the lack of free lockers.We waited in the queue for another 2 hours.When we came out after the Darshan,the queue was totally empty.In the Hindsight totally avoid the Aarti time for Darshan and utilise the time for rest or other activites.Since the rush was not so much due to winter season,we had a very good darshan.Meanwhile you have to deposit your coconut at a point during your movement in the queue and the same will be returned back after the darshan.After the Darshan we started our onward darshan of Bhairon nath,it was toughest trek considering that we were totally exhausted,climb was very steep and the ponies were there at your back and front.Finally we had the Bhairon nath baba darshan and started our Downward climb even though we were hungry, exhausted and it was very cold.Finally totally exhausted we took the Pony from Adhkuwari to the Main entrance for 400 Rupees/Person.We reached our Hotel by around 7.30 AM and took an nap.(Total 18 hours of non stop climb and darshan)
After taking some rest we checked out from the Hotel and took the Auto to reach Katra bus stand by around 1 PM.We have planned for the Patnitop trip from Katra.Since we know that the straight buses to Patnitop from Katra starts only in the morning for 90 Rupees,We took the alternate Udhampur bus route.Buses are very slow and it takes atleast 1.5 to 2 Hours to reach Udhampur.From Udhampur,we took Patnitop bus and it took around 1.5 hours to reach Patnitop on the National Highway.From the National Highway we took Taxi to reach the Hotel Forest View (Around 2 KM from National Highway) and payed 100 Rupees for the journey.

Next day after having the Breakfast in the Hotel,we checked out from the Hotel and took the taxi for the sight seeing by around 10 AM.Taxi rate is 2000 Rupees for the Nathatop and local sight seeing.(Taxi Driver Suresh:09906372747).We visited the famous Nag mandir and some local parks before moving to the Nathatop snow point,the snow was not much but still good enough for the enjoyable outing.After coming to the Patnitop,we continued our onward journey to Udhampur ( Taxi Charge 1500 Rupees extra).We reached New delhi by around 12 PM ( 5 hours late) on 29th December.From there we took Metro to Indraprastha Station.From Indraprastha station we took share auto (20 Rupees/Person) to reach Nizamuddin Railway Station.From Nizamuddin station we took the Garibh Rath weekly train to reach Chennai on 30th December.

1 Replies

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Nice brief & crisp report! :)

It would be great if you could share few photographs also if you clicked! :)

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