For the convenience of the pilgrims the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine board has made arrangements for helicopter services from Katra to Vaishno Devi Bhawan. The helipad at Katra is on the Katra Udhampur highway about two kilometers from the city centre and the helipad at Vaishno Devi is at Sanjhi Chatt. The shrine from Sanjhi Chatt is about two and a half kilometers away but the walk is convenient and mostly level walk. The walk time is around 45 minutes to one hour. Ponies and palkis are also easily available for the Bhawan from the helipad for further convenience.
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The Distance from New Delhi to Katra is roughly 634 km. Drive from New Delhi to katra takes about 12 – 13 hours by car. The nearest railhead from Katra is Jammu which is at a distance of 50 kilometers from this place Jammu Tawi is the last broad gauge station in India in the north, which is served by many important trains and well connected with the rest of the country. Being the last station many trains Originate and terminate here. Now a new rail link is being established between Jammu and Srinagar and few local trains run up to Udhampur. Most people travelling to Jammu are pilgrims who go to Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine. In the peak season of summer and other holidays, the railways introduce special trains for Jammu for the comfort of the pilgrims. The travelling Distance from New Delhi to Jammu is about 580 km – 600 km and takes 12-13 hrs to reach Jammu tawi station
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As there is no rail and air connectivity between Jammu and Katra, Passengers using Air or Rail as a mode of travel have to break their journey at Jammu and from thereon travel to Katra by bus or Taxi
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Katra town lies on the foot of the Trikuta Hills which is the adobe of the famous Mata Vaishno Devi. This city about 48 kilometers from Jammu city is the base camp for visiting the Mata Vaishno devi shrine. Vehicles go up to Katra only and the journey to the holy shrine which is 13 kilometers from this place is done on foot along a well laid footpath. Every year, more than 4.5 million pilgrims pass through Katra on their way to the holy shrine. Being a base camp this city is the city of hotels and lodges. Devotees reach Katra and take rest in hotels and lodges and get ready for the forward journey keeping their belongings in the hotel rooms and / or clock rooms and just carry the necessary clothes and accessories for the Darshan as everything is to be carried along the 13 km walk.
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Before planning the Mata Vaishnodevi trip having an idea about Katra`s weather can be beneficial in a long way in having a successful Darshan without any inconvenience and or any health trouble.
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The temple of Vaishnodevi is attributed to Maa Vaishno or Maa Durga. The holy cave shrine of Vaishno Devi is said to have been built by the five pandavas. The shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi is one of the most visited pilgrim sites in India. This is also the only temple to be open all round the clock twenty-four hours, seven days and twelve months. Mata Vaishno temple is located in a cave, amidst the folds of the trikuta bhagwati hill at a height of 5,300ft, in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. For yatra to the holy shrine of Vaishno Devi one has to reach base town of Katra. It is around 50 kms from Jammu. Pilgrims have to cover 13 kms more either by helicopter or by foot to reach Bhawan.
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