Katra is a small town in Udampur district which is 45 kms far from Jammu city located at the base of Trikuta Mountains which acts as a base camp for devotees for many Shrine Places like Mata Vaishno Devi in particular, this shrine is located in the foothills of the Himalayas which makes this experience more Divine and Spiritual. It is devoted to Mother Goddess which also ranked among the oldest Temples in India. This Temple is situated at the elevated height of 5200 ft carrying out the whole walking expedition 13kms from Katra makes this journey more sacred experience which is beyond words with an addition to relish natural beauty.
This is believed that paying pilgrimage to Mata Vaishno Devi brings Good Luck and washes away all the sins. Incase you do not want to walk this much distance you can also take chopper services.
Along with Mata Vaishno Devi Mandir one can visit other Temples like Charan Paduka, Bhairo Mandir and Geeta Mandir. Besides the sacred place to Mata Vaishno Devi one can visit famous Pilgrimage of Patnitop – The Nag Temple, Nathatop is also one of the most popular attractions of Patnitop which offers the view of Snow Coated Hills. Thereafter, you can explore other places like Pandora Enclave and Sanasar(famous for adventure activities like Paragliding). Sanasar is also called mini Gulmarg and also the remotest region of India, one can hire a pony to take the trip through the Pine Trees.
The culture at Mata Vaishno Devi – Navratri is one of the auspicious Hindu festivals and celebrated for nine days. First three days are devoted to Goddess Kali, next three days are devoted to Goddess Lakshmi and last three days are devoted to Goddess Saraswati. This festival is conducted during the month of September and October by the Jammu & Kashmir State Tourism department.
Time to visit – March to June and September to October (Festival Navratris are celebrated twice within a year)
How to Reach – There is no direct conveyance available to reach this place.
By Air – Instead to Katra you can get a regular flight from Gorakhpur Airport to Amausi Airport Lucknow then take a taxi to reach Katra, Jammu.
By Train – You can take Kaifiyat Exp from New Delhi to Ayodhya and then take a taxi to reach Katra.
By Bus – You can take state transport bus from New Delhi to Ayodhya then take a taxi from Ayodhya to Katra.