Devotees from all over the world visit the Vaishno Devi Mata Temple. This is one of the most popular shrines for Shakti worshippers. For the devotees the Vaishno Devi Katra holds a lot of importance. According to the belief of the devotees it takes the calling of the Goddess herself to finally reach this temple. The journey to the higher elevation of the location to the beauty of the spot everything makes it a thrilling location itself. Even travelers visit this area to carry forward with the trekking through the trails to explore the beauty of the spot.
However if you are planning a trip to Mata Vaishno Devi Katra then you need to keep certain things in mind. Obviously you need to know how you can reach there. Along with that, it is important to know about the best time to visit Vaishno Devi. Vaishno Devi experiences snowfall and the hilly terrain is something that you need to have a prior knowledge about before actually visiting the location. In this article I will mention each and everything that you probably need to know about when to travel to Vaishno Devi Katra. So keep on reading, as this will be a helpful read for you if you are planning a visit there.
Vaishno Devi Katra
Overview of Vaishno Devi Katra
Located on top of Trikuta Hill the Vaishno Devi temple is one of the major sites of pilgrimage in the whole country. It is located 13 km away from Katra in Jammu and Kashmir. Vaishno Devi Mata or Mata Rani is the presiding deity here and according to the devotees she is very powerful. They believe that the Mother Goddess fulfills every wishes of her children here. Here the Goddess appears in three different forms, Maha Kali, Maha Lakshmi and Maha Saraswati. In a year over one crore of devotees visit this temple making it one of the most visited sites of pilgrimage.
How to reach Vaishno Devi Katra
There are no direct flights or airports to reach Vaishno Devi. The Jammu Airport is the nearest airport to reach the temple which is about 34 km away from Vaishno Devi. From the airport you will get buses on this route to reach the temple. Or else you can also take a cab or hire a car to reach the temple as well. From cities like Delhi, Amritsar, etc you will get flights till Jammu.
The helicopter service to reach the Vaishno Devi Temple is also a very popular way to reach the temple. This ride offers a beautiful experience to the travelers. The ride starts from the foothills of Katra so first you will have to reach Katra. And from there the helicopter ride will start and end at Sanjichhat. The ride is approximately 8 minutes. From Sanjhichatt the temple is at a 2. 5 km distance. The tickets are available at the counters and you will have to provide a valid ID Proof and the travel documents to get tickets. Also there is an option for Vaishno Devi Katra helicopter booking online. You can get tickets from https://www.maavaishnodevi.org.
Each helicopter can accommodate around 6 people at a time. For a one way ride the ticket charge is Rs. 1730 and for a 2 way ride it is Rs. 3460 per person.
Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra railway station is the nearest railway station to reach Vaishno Devi Temple located about 20 km away. So if you are planning to travel by train then you will have to reach the railway station to reach the temple. From major cities you will get to reach the railway station. Vaishno Devi Katra train is available from Delhi as well. One of the popular Delhi to Vaishno Devi Katra train is the Shree Shakti train which you can check out. Delhi to Vaishno Devi Katra distance by train is 578 km and it takes about 8 hours to reach there.
Other than that the Jammu Tawi Railway Station is another nearest railway station to reach the temple which is 51 km away. You can get trains from major cities to reach this railway station.
There are regular bus services plying on this route till Katra which is like the base of the Vaishno Devi journey. Also you can either hire a car or get cabs to reach here from different locations like Jammu Tawi, Delhi, Amritsar, Haridwar etc. Delhi to Vaishno Devi Katra distance by car is 665 km and it would take around 13 hours to reach there.
From Faridabad to Vaishno Devi Katra distance is 688 km and it takes a little less than 14 hours to reach there by road. If you are travelling from Agra then Agra to Vaishno Devi Katra distance is 873 km and it takes about 16 hours to reach there by road. From Amritsar the distance is 272 km and it takes about 7 hours to reach the temple. Haridwar to Vaishno Devi Katra distance is 630 km and it takes about 13 hours to reach there. Other than buses or cabs, shared rides are also available from a lot of locations which you can opt for as well.
The trekking trail to Vaishno Devi is a lit path that makes it possible for the devotees to trek all day long for all through the year. This trekking path has all the facilities from food stalls to medical aids, toilets etc. The trek starts from Katra till the temple. However there are also horses, palanquins as well as ponies that can cover some distance for you. So you can opt for that as well. The whole trek is about 12 km long.
What is the best time to visit Vaishno Devi and what is the best season?
You can visit Vaishno Devi Temple all year round but the best time to visit Vaishno Devi is from March to July. This is ideally the best time to visit Vaishno Devi temple because of the Vaishno Devi Katra temperature during this time. The weather during these months is not too cold and therefore it would be more comfortable for a visit here. The months of January and February are the coldest months here and therefore this is the best time to visit Vaishno Devi less crowded as less number of people visit during this period. Months of August and September are rainy months while again October to November are pleasant times to visit here.
Vaishno Devi Katra in Summer (March to June)
From the month of March the summer season starts in Vaishno Devi. Ideally the summer season is considered the best season for a visit to the temple mostly because of the Vaishno Devi Katra weather. May, June and the July months are the peak months when a lot of tourists visit here. However, not a peak season this time is ideal for a visit for the people who prefer to stay a little away from the crowd. Mostly because of the higher altitude the weather remains quite pleasant though. The days are hotter but during the night the temperature drops to a certain level. You also might have to wear some light woolens by the evening as well, so make sure you pack well.
Vaishno Devi Katra in Monsoon (July to September)
The monsoon season in Vaishno Devi looks beautiful with the lush greenery around. The area receives moderate rainfall but there are chances of mudslides during this time. Technically it is not advisable to go on a yatra during these months as it can be risky. However this is also the time when the prices of hotels to travel will be low because of the off season. For anyone on a tight budget they can think of planning a visit around this time. But of course collect proper knowledge on the existing weather and road conditions to avoid hassle.
Vaishno Devi Katra in Autumn (October to November)
This is the peak season for the pilgrims in Vaishno Devi. With Navratri and Diwali the whole area gets dressed in festivities. There are frequent yatras with excited pilgrims chanting Jai Mata Di. The month of October is the most crowded so if you are visiting around that time be prepared for that. After Diwali however the crowd thins down. Ideally it is the best time to visit Vaishno Devi in November. There is one way to understand the crowd here. You can log in to the official site of Vaishno Devi and check the count of devotees. If it is between 15, 000 to 18, 000 then the crowd will be average. And if it’s more then it would be very crowded. Also the Vaishno Devi temperature during this time gets low, so carry warm clothes along.
Vaishno Devi Katra in Winter (December to February)
These are the cold winter months in Vaishno Devi. It will be a best time to visit Vaishno Devi in January if you want to enjoy snowfall. The region experiences snowfall and that creates a mystic charm here. What can be a concern during this time period is the Weather Vaishno Devi Katra. The temperature during this time goes to sub zero which is very cold. You will have to be physically really fit to reach the temple during this time period. It is also a best time to visit Vaishno Devi in December if you are prepared to take the chill.
Vaishno Devi Katra is like one site of pilgrimage that would require a lot of effort and will power to reach. It takes a lot of strength to go through the journey to reach the temple finally. And after you reach there you would instantly know how all of this is worth the hard work. To experience the divine you must plan a yatra to the Mata Vaishno Devi Katra. Here I have mentioned everything about how you can reach the temple and also when is the best time to visit Vaishno Devi. So on the basis of that you can choose your favoured time and then plan a visit to this location. Let me know when you are planning a trip to this location. Also let me know if this article is helpful for you in planning a trip to the Vaishno Devi Temple.