INFORMATION ABOUT VAISHNO DEVI
A pilgrimage to the Holy Shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji is considered to be one of the holiest pilgrimages of our times. Popular the world over as Moonh Maangi Muradein Poori Karne Wali Mata, which means, the Mother who fulfills whatever Her children wish for, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji resides in a Holy Cave located in the folds of the three peaked mountain named Trikuta (pronounced as Trikoot). The Holy Cave attracts lakhs of devotees every year. In fact, the number of Yatris visiting the Holy Shrine annually now exceeds 5 million. This is due to the unflinching faith of the devotees who throng the Shrine from all parts of India and abroad.
The Holy Cave of the Mother is situated at an altitude of 5200 ft. The Yatris have to undertake a trek of nearly 12 km from the base camp at Katra. At the culmination of their pilgrimage, the yatries are blessed with the Darshans of the Mother Goddess inside the Sanctum Sanctorum- the Holy Cave. These Darshans are in the shape of three natural rock formations called the Pindies. There are no statues or idols inside the Cave.
Darshans are open round the clock throughout the year.Since the year 1986, when the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (commonly called Shrine Board) was formed (under “The Jammu & Kashmir Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Act, 1986’), the management of the Shrine and regulation of the Yatra has been vested in the Board. The Board has undertaken a number of developmental activities aimed at making the Yatra a comfortable and satisfying experience for the Yatris. So far, over 125 crores of rupees have been invested by the Board for providing various infrastructural and other facilities. The Board continues to reinvest the offerings and donations received in carying out improvements in various kinds of Yatri facilities.
The holy cave shrine of Vaishno Devi is nestled in a beautiful recess of the Trikuta Mountains forming a part of the lower Himalayas. It is located 61 km north of Jammu at a height of 5,200 feet above the sea level in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. In the cave there are images of three deities viz. the Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and Mahasaraswati.
The shrine is visited all through the year, but the path is difficult during the winters when the route is often blocked by snow-fall.
How to reach Vaishno Devi, Katra
Rest of India to jammu
In order to visit the Holy Shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi Ji, one has to reach Katra, a small town situated around 50 kms. from Jammu, the winter capital of the state of Jammu & Kashmir. Katra serves as the base camp for the yatra. Katra is well connected to Jammu and Jammu, in turn, is well connected to the rest of the country by Air, Rail, and Road.
Jammu is well connected to the rest of India by air. Both Indian Airlines and Jet Airways operate daily flights to Jammu. The average flying time from New Delhi is about 80 minutes.
One can also reach Jammu by rail. Jammu is connected to other parts of country on broad gauge and numerous passenger trains ply from various parts of the country to Jammu. In the peak season of summer and other holidays, the Railways introduce special trains for Jammu for the comfort of the Yatris. Many superfast trains also ply on this route and one can reach Jammu overnight from New Delhi.
A list of trains, their schedules and booking status could be seen at the Indian Railways website. You can even book tickets online if you are planning to travel in the near future.
Jammu is well connected through road also to rest of India. National Highway No. 1A passes through Jammu towards Srinagar. Regular bus services from all major North Indian cities are available for Jammu as well as Katra. Many standard and deluxe buses of various State Road Transport Corporations as well as private operators connect Jammu with important cities and towns of North India.
Passengers using Air or Rail as a mode of travel have necessarily to break their journey at Jammu and from thereon select an alternative mode of transport. However for passengers traveling by road, either through public or own transport, there is an option of taking a by-pass from Kunjwani, nearly 10 kms. off Jammu and heading straight for the base camp i.e Katra. The option of a halt at Jammu is thus entirely with the yatri although many yatries would like to spend more time in Jammu and visit the temples and other landmarks there.
Helicopter Service at Vaishno Devi, Katra
Deccan aviation & Pawan Hans boards helicopter from Katra on the foothills and the flight will drop you at Sanjhichatt., This visit to the sacred shrine, enveloped by the clouds is the beginning of a breathtaking heli-hop.
Refund and Cancellation Policy:
In case of Cancellation:
a) 25 to 48 hours before flight departure time: 70% of the total fare refunded.
b) 24 hours or less, upto 01 hour before flight departure time: 50% of total fare refunded.
c) Less than one hours before flight time : NO Show and NO Refund.
d) Flight cancellation by operator: Full fare refund