Vaishno Devi, also known as Mata Rani, Trikuta and Vaishnavi, is a manifestation of the Hindu Mother Goddess Mahalakshmi. The words "Maa" and "Mata" are commonly used in India for "mother", and thus are often used in connection with Vaishno Devi. Vaishno Devi Mandir is a Hindu temple dedicated to the Hindu Goddess, located in Katra at the Trikuta Mountains within the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. The Temple or Bhawan is 13.5 km from Katra and various modes of transportation are available from Katra to Bhawan, including Ponies, Electric vehicles and paalkhis operated by 2 or 4 persons. Helicopter services are also available up to Sanjichhat, which is 9.5 km from Katra. Bhairon temple is another 1.5 km from Bhawan.
125 km from Jammu Situated at an altitude of 1560 meters on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, this resort straddles the forested slopes of the Patnitop mountain range,...
35 Kms on the National Highway leading towards Srinagar is the Jhajjar Kotli Tourist Complex, built on the banks of Jhajjar rivulet... Kud
106 km from Jammu, this popular resort is situated on the Jammu-Srinagar highway, at an altitude of 1738 meters. An ideal picnic spot this place... Mantalaii
Situated a few kilometers further away from Sudh Mahadev, Mantalaii is surrounded by lush deodar forests, at an altitude of over 2000 meters... Patni Top
112 km from Jammu. This famous hill resort is perched on a beautiful plateau, at an altitude of 2024 meters across which the Jammu-Srinagar Highway passes. Enveloped by thickly wooded forests, Patnitop offers beautiful picnic spots.
By Air 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.
By Train One can also reach Katra by rail. Jammu/Katra is connected to other parts of the country on broad gauge and numerous passenger trains ply from various parts of the country. In the peak season of summer and other holidays, the Railways introduce special trains for the comfort of the Yatris. Many superfast trains also ply on this route and one can reach Jammu/Katra 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.
By Road 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 km. 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.
Best Season The Yatra to the Holy Shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi Ji is open throughout the year. The summer months of May, June, and July and the festival period of Chaitra (spring) and Sharad-Ashwin (Autumn) Navratras and New Year vacations witness peak rush. As a result of this rush, devotees have to often wait for 12-20 hours before having Darshan. It is therefore strongly adviced, that for comfortable, quick and satisfying Darshan, the period of peak rush must be avoided.
Instead, the monsoons and winters are good periods to plan a yatra. During the monsoons, Nature is at its scenic best with waterfalls and lush green surroundings. The winter months of December and January witness snowfall and barring the very young and the physically infirm, it can prove to be a charming season for others to visit the Shrine. The original Holy Cave of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji is also open during the winters and Darshans through this cave is a unique mystical experience. A thumb rule to plan one's journey is to log on to this website and check out the pattern and number of pilgrims visiting the Holy Shrine. If the average number of pilgrims during a period is less than 15,000-18,000 on any given day, one can expect a comfortable trip and a satisfying Darshan of the Holy Pindies.