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Katra Tourism And Travel Guide
10.9° C / 51.6° F
April to June
3 to 4 Days
Satwari Airport (40 kms)
The Katra Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra railway station
Set at the foothills of the Himalayan range, Katra is a small town in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. It is the home of the Vaishno Devi Temple, where the deity of wealth, Goddess Mahalakshmi was imagined and structured. It is the second most important temple of India and is visited by millions from all over the country every year.
Since the temple is situated at a 13 km trek upwards from Katra, it makes the town a hub for pilgrims halting before they go on their holy journey to see the ‘Devi’. Embark on a complete religious journey by visiting other temples like the Shivkhori Cave Temple and the Bhairavnath. Tourism in Katra is popular during the summers, but monsoon and winters are a good time to avoid the rush of people. Whether you want to see the beauty of the temples in this holy town, hike up your adrenaline by engaging in adventure sports or simply relax and enjoy the scenic beauty of the place, Katra will not let you down. Excited to take the trip? We can help. Plan your trip with our travel guide to Katra.
How to Reach
You can easily reach Katra by air, rail or by road. Taking a flight is the fastest route to this Holy town, whereas, going by rail or road can be a little more time consuming, but at the same time you will get to see the breathtaking views of the Himalayas, which is something that should not be missed.
Satwari Airport which is located in Jammu and Kashmir is the closest airport to Katra. This airport is located at a distance of 40 km from this religious town and can be reached via a taxi or bus in about an hour. Major Indian airlines from major cities ply to and fro from this airport, making it easier for the traveller.
Discover the beauty of pristine landscapes of the north by taking a road trip to Katra. Different national highways are connected to Katra, making it convenient for people travelling from any part of India. Frequent busses ply from different cities to the pilgrimage spot, which are comfortable and cost efficient as well.
The Katra Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra railway station is Katra’s very own railway station, which is well connected to various cities in India. Pilgrims usually prefer taking the train as opposed to any other mode of transport as there are other devotees travelling, singing chants and giving the feel of a pious journey.
Due to the Vaishno Devi Temple being erected at Katra, it is a popular hub for devotees all year round. Due to the huge crowd the city pulls, getting around Katra is fairly easy. The beauty of the city is best experienced on foot, but travelling on horseback is also an option for anyone not willing to walk.Also, you can easily get taxis to go sightseeing, which is a comfortable commute.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
Summers in Katra are hot and humid with a sea of people visiting due to it being the peak time to take a pilgrimage. Monsoons and winters are for travellers who want to get away from the crowd and enjoy the beauty of Mother Nature.
Although it is quite hot, the peak season for visiting the Vaishno Devi Temple is the time between April and June; the summertime. Temperatures can go upto 40°C in the daytime while the nights are a little cooler with the temperature dropping to 15°C. Accommodation is more expensive than it is in the other two seasons, due to the rush.
Monsoon (July- September):
If you are a nature enthusiast, the monsoons may be the best time to visit Katra. With temperatures dropping down drastically, the rains cool the land beneath after the scorching heat, making it a good time to enjoy the picturesque beauty of this divine town.
Winter (October- March):
The longest season in Katra is the winter, which lasts for almost five months. This is the coldest period and also the most scenic. Though the land, which is slippery due to snow, can be dangerous to travel; it is one of the best seasons to appreciate the marvelous landscape.
Things to Do
Go on a Religious Trip:
Engage in a pious journey and attain blessing from various Gods and Goddesses in this divine town. Starting from the Vaishno Devi Temple, to Bhairavnath and the Shivkhori Cave Temple, Katra is a devotee’s paradise. Although these temples are ancient, the way they are maintained is noteworthy and worth visiting. Complete your spiritual journey by taking a treacherous hike up to Vaishno Devi or visiting Shivkhori on horseback.
Visit Karua Jheel:
The Sarovar Lake passing through the Karua village in Katra is well known as Karua Jheel. The Baba Dhansar Temple is situated at the banks of Karua Jheel which is considered to be a holy river to take a dip in. Devotees from all walks of life visit Baba Dhansar and then take a dip in the Karua Jheel to wash off all their sins and make their wishes come true. This river is brimming with beauty and has clear waters and greenery all around.
Enjoy a Horseback Ride:
Discover the beauty of the great Himalayas on horseback. Professional guides will lead you to some of the most beautiful hikes and landscapes, making your ride safe. If you choose to ride a horse 13 km uphill to see the Holy Shrine, the journey commences from Banganga, all the way to the temple premise. This is an enjoyable way to go around places in Katra.
Relax at Jhajjar Kotli:
Situated on the banks of Jhajjar river in Jhajjar Kotli is a water picnic spot. Enjoyed by many who come to visit Vaishno Devi, Jhajjar Kotli is a place where travellers relax after a long religious journey and have an enjoyable time with their friends and families.The Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation has built accomodation for tourists to stay a few days and relax.
Pump the Adrenaline:
Looking for a bit of adventure on this trip? Katra is equipped to keep you entertained. You can go white water rafting on the Chenab river while adoring the beauty of the pristine foggy mountains and lush forests. You can also engage in the sport of mountain biking and ride the undulating hilly terrain on a two wheeler.
Since Katra is a town that is full of people all year round, numerous eateries have cropped up in this area. Sit and enjoy a delicious meal after a long tiring walk at the Pooja Vaishno Dhaba, that offers a variety of vegetarian cuisine for tourists. Offering a variety of food that includes Indian and chinese, places like Madhuban, Gulshan Da Dhaba and a few others have delicious food along with being pocket friendly and a must visit in Katra.
When devotees visit Katra, they shop; not just for themselves, but for the Mata up in Vaishno Devi. Things like shawls, sweets and saris are offered to the Goddess when a devotee is offering his/ her prayers. Souvenirs like Gold and Silver coins embossed with the image of Vaishno Devi, embroidered fabrics and small wooden boxes are available at tiny stores all over the town. Also, the Katra main Bazaar offers its tourists with dryfruits like walnuts, berries, dried apples and everything that is native to the land of Jammu.