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How To Reach Vaishno Devi
Vaishno Devi is the holy abode of Hindu Goddess Mata Adi Shakti, also referred to as Chandi or Durga. The temple is located 13 km from Katra, nestled amidst the Trikutta Hills in the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir. As one of the 108 Shakti Peethas in the country, Vaishno Devi is a highly revered pilgrimage site, attracting thousands and lakhs of pilgrims every year. To know how to reach Vaishno Devi in detail, read on.
The closest aerodrome to Katra is Jammu Airport or Sarwari Airport located at a distance of 48 km. Jammu is well connected with most airports across the country by flight. Once tourists touchdown in Jammu they can hire a taxi and reach Katra within an hour. Buses also ply regularly between Jammu and Katra. The latter serves as the base camp for the holy Yatra. From here pilgrims have the option to either trek up to the temple or avail of helicopter services that start from the foothills of Katra to Sanjhichatt. From here it is just 5 km to the holy sanctum. The main trek trail begins it Katra via Ban Ganga, Charan Paduka, Adhkuwari, Himkoti, Sanjhichhat to Mata ka Bhawan/temple.
The nearest railhead to the temple is Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra Railway Station at Katra. Over the years Katra has attained good connectivity with some major cities of the country and have trains regularly between them and Katra. Tourists have great accommodation facilities close to the station. From here the real journey to Mata Ka Bhawan begins. Pilgrims can trek up the 13 km route or opt for helicopter services that operate choppers from Katra to Sanjhichhat.
Katra is fairly well connected to some major neighbouring cities by road. Buses ply regularly between Katra and cities like Amritsar, Delhi, Jammu Tawi etc. From Katra pilgrims can trek up to the holy sanctum or use choppers to reach Sanjhichchat from where they will have to walk the last 5 km to the temple.
Getting by in Vaishno Devi
Given the altitude and terrain for moving around in Vaishno Devi, people have to either walk or depend upon ponies and palanquins. There is really no other choice to reach the abode of the goddess.