Mata Vaishno Devi Mandir Yatra 2024 : Affordable Stays and Transportation Near The Temple

The Maa Vaishno Devi Mandir, nestled amidst the Trikuta Hills in Katra, India, is a revered pilgrimage site not just for Hindus but for people of all faiths. The holy cave enshrined with the idol of Maa Vaishno Devi resonates with an aura of divinity, attracting millions of devotees every year. One popular story tells of Maa Vaishno Devi, an incarnation of Goddess Durga, seeking refuge in the cave from the demon Arunasura. After vanquishing him, she promised to bless all who seek her with unwavering faith. Another legend links the cave to the Pandavas from the epic Mahabharata, where they sought refuge during their exile.

While the exact date of the temple’s establishment remains unknown, historical evidence suggests its existence for centuries. Inscriptions dating back to the 7th and 8th centuries AD mention the cave and its religious significance. By the 18th century, the shrine gained prominence, attracting pilgrims and prompting the construction of essential facilities for their well-being.

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Mata Vaishno Devi Mandir Yatra

Reaching the Maa Vaishno Devi Mandir Yatra involves a challenging 13-kilometer trek, or ‘yatra,’ through picturesque landscapes. This arduous journey is considered part of the spiritual experience, symbolizing the devotee’s perseverance and dedication. Over the years, various amenities and infrastructure improvements have been made to ensure a safe and comfortable yatra for all.

Places To Visit In Mata Vaishno Devi Temple

Places To Visit In Mata Vaishno Devi Temple Yatra:

Vaishno Devi Mandir

The Maa Vaishno Devi Mandir (Cool Weather Summer Vacation In India) stands as a testament to the enduring power of faith and tradition. Its history, interwoven with legends and historical facts, continues to captivate pilgrims and ignite their spiritual journey. So, whether you’re planning a yatra or simply curious about its rich heritage, remember, the story of Maa Vaishno Devi is one that will stay with you long after your visit.

Mata Vaishno Devi Mandir Yatra

Today, the Maa Vaishno Devi Mandir is a globally renowned pilgrimage site. Millions undertake the yatra each year, seeking blessings, solace, and spiritual fulfillment. The temple complex offers various facilities, from bhoga prasad (blessed food) to pooja (worship) services, catering to the diverse needs of devotees.

ArdhKuwari Gufa

ArdhKuwari Gufa is a holy cave located on the way to the Vaishno Devi Mandir Yatra in Katra, India. It is believed that Mata Vaishno Devi, an incarnation of the Goddess Durga, resided in this cave for nine months while seeking refuge from the demon Arunasura. The name “ArdhKuwari” literally translates to “half-way cave,” as it is located approximately halfway between Katra and the Vaishno Devi Temple.

Here are some additional details about ArdhKuwari Gufa:

  • Location: Katra, Jammu and Kashmir, India
  • Distance from Katra: 6 kilometers
  • Distance from Vaishno Devi Temple: 1 kilometer
  • Opening hours: 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM
  • Entry fee: 50/Rupee per person

Bhairavnath Mandir

Bhairavnath Mandir, located near the Vaishno Devi Temple in Katra, India, holds significant importance in the pilgrimage journey. Here’s some information about it:


  • Dedicated to Bhairavnath, considered a fierce manifestation of Lord Shiva and the gatekeeper of Maa Vaishno Devi’s abode.
  • Visiting Bhairavnath Mandir after darshan at Vaishno Devi Temple is believed to complete the pilgrimage and appease Bhairavnath for granting a safe passage.
  • Legend says Maa Vaishno Devi granted salvation to Bhairavnath after he repented for attacking her.

Location and Access:

  • Situated approximately 3 kilometers uphill from the Vaishno Devi Temple.
  • Accessible by a steep climb of stairs or by ropeway (additional cost).
  • Ponies are also available for those unable to climb.


  • Cave temple offering darshan of the Bhairavnath idol.
  • Picturesque views of the surrounding mountains.
  • Shops selling religious offerings and souvenirs.

Important things to know:

  • Darshan timings may differ from Vaishno Devi Temple, so check beforehand.
  • Dress modestly and maintain decorum within the temple complex.
  • Be prepared for crowds, especially during peak season.

Things To Do In Mata Vaishno Devi Temple

Things To Do In Mata Vaishno Devi Temple Yatra:

Mata Vaishno Devi Mandir Yatra

Vaishno Devi Ropeway

The Vaishno Devi Ropeway is a passenger ropeway that provides a convenient and scenic way to reach the Vaishno Devi Temple in Katra, India. The ropeway is operated by the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board and is one of the highest ropeways in Asia.

The ropeway has two sections:

  • The first section, from Katra to Bhawan, is 5.2 kilometers long and has a height difference of 1,075 meters.
  • The second section, from Bhawan to Bhairon Ghati, is 1.7 kilometers long and has a height difference of 250 meters.

The ropeway has a total of 84 cabins, each of which can carry 8 people. The journey time from Katra to Bhawan is approximately 18 minutes, and the journey time from Bhawan to Bhairon Ghati is approximately 5 minutes.

Here are some additional details about the Vaishno Devi Ropeway:

  • Opening hours: 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM (subject to weather conditions)
  • Ticket price: 100 Rupees per person for one-way journey (200 Rupee for round-trip journey)
  • Discounts: Available for children, senior citizens, and students
  • Booking: Tickets can be booked online or at the counter

Here are some tips for using the Vaishno Devi Ropeway:

  • Book your tickets in advance, especially during peak season.
  • Arrive early at the ropeway station to avoid long queues.
  • Dress warmly, as it can be cold at the higher altitudes.
  • Carry your ID and proof of booking with you.
  • Follow the instructions of the ropeway staff.
  • Enjoy the scenic views of the surrounding mountains.

Affordable Stays Near The Mara Vaishno Devi Temple

Finding affordable stays near the Mata Vaishno Devi Temple shouldn’t be a hurdle for your pilgrimage. Here are some great options, categorized based on distance and budget:

  • Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Board Yatri Niwas: This is the most budget-friendly option, offering dormitory-style rooms at throwaway prices. It’s managed by the Shrine Board itself, ensuring cleanliness and safety. While basic, it’s perfect for those seeking no-frills accommodation right next to the temple.
  • Hotel Shree Ram Palace: This budget hotel offers decent rooms with basic amenities like attached bathrooms and hot water. It’s a short walk from the Katra bus stand and has a pure vegetarian restaurant on-site.
  • Hotel Katra Residency: A step up from budget hotels, this property provides comfortable rooms with balconies offering mountain views. It’s close to the Banganga check post, the starting point for the trek, and has a travel desk for assistance.
  • Hotel Sarvam: This mid-range hotel boasts spacious and well-furnished rooms with modern amenities like flat-screen TVs and minibars. It has a multi-cuisine restaurant, a spa, and a conference hall, making it suitable for both leisure and business travelers.
  • Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Katra: Part of a renowned chain, this hotel offers a blend of comfort and convenience. It features well-appointed rooms with modern amenities, a multi-cuisine restaurant, a fitness center, and a swimming pool.
Mata Vaishno Devi Mandir Yatra

Transportation Near Mata Vaishno Devi Temple

Local Transport

  • Taxis: Taxis are readily available in Katra for local commutes and getting to nearby attractions. Negotiate fares beforehand.
  • Auto-rickshaws: Shared auto-rickshaws are a budget-friendly way to travel within Katra town.
  • Local Buses: Public buses connect Katra to nearby towns and villages.

Reaching Mata Vaishno Devi Mandir Yatra from Katra

  • Trekking
  • Helicopter
  • Horseback Riding
  • Palki
  • Battery-operated Vehicles
  • Ropeway

How To Reach Katra

Reaching the holy shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi involves traveling to Katra, the base town, followed by options for reaching the temple itself. Here’s a breakdown of your transportation options:

  • Air: The nearest airport is Jammu Airport (IXJ), about 46.7 km away from Katra. Taxis and pre-paid cabs are readily available for the journey.
  • Train: Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra Railway Station is the closest railhead, situated 20 km from the main shrine. Several trains connect Katra to major cities across India.
  • Bus: Regular bus services operate from various cities to Katra, offering budget-friendly travel. Jammu Tawi is the main bus terminus, with frequent buses to Katra.

What is the best time to visit?

Navratri seasons (March-April and September-October) are considered auspicious, but expect bigger crowds. 

Do I need to register for the Yatra?

Yes, registration is mandatory and free. You can register online or at the Yatra Registration Counter in Katra.

What documents do I need?

Carry a valid ID proof and your Yatra registration slip.

What should I pack? 

Comfortable walking shoes, warm clothes (depending on the season), rainwear, water bottle, snacks, medication, and essentials.

How long does the trek take? 

The complete trek is around 13 km and can take between 6-12 hours depending on your pace and rest stops.

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