Saturday, November 17, 2007

बोलो सांचे दरबार की जय!!!

Jai Maa Vaishno Devi!!!!

The Intention of creating this blog is to make all you shradlu aware as to how to reach Vaishno Devi. This blog probably will help tou to explore the option to reaching there & will make your yatra more comfortable.
Vaishno Devi one of the most Holy Place in the World is located in state Jammu & Kashmir (J&K), India.
Vaishno Devi is approx 12 Kms away from Katra. Katra is well connected by Road to Jammu. Jammu is very well connected by Train, Road, Air from all metros of India.

Train Enquiry & booking can be done through IRCTC does have package for Vaishno devi yatra. A Rajdhani Train also run on Delhi - Jammu route on every Friday.

Once you reach to Jammu then you can then reach Katra by bus or you can hire a taxi. Katra is 40 Km from Jammu & Travel time would be around 2 hrs. The journey is a bit tiring and you will need to freshen up after reaching there.
It is always advisable to take an hotel for your stay there, normally it takes a day to go to the vaishno devi shrine and come back and more importantly one cannot carry all the bag and baggages.the place Katra is filled with Hotels. Your Taxi/Bus will drop you at Katra Bus station. Hotels of all budget are available in Katra. When you reach Katra you will find yourself surrounded by agents for Hotel. Basically they all are good for nothing. So I would advise you to not to listen them all. Remain calm & search hotel as per your requirement.
If you did booking for hotel online then it is also fine. I come to know there are many websites which provides online hotel booking facility for hotels. You may do some googling for this.
The Average Room Rent in offseason is INR350 (Non A/C Room) & INR600 (A/C Room). In Peak Season this figure would be around INR500 & INR750 respectively.

First thing you need to go is to get Yatra Parchi from Shrine Board office which is located on Katra Bus Stand.
Have a good bath & if you want take a short nap then go ahead. Have a meal & start your Journey.

You can to cover 12 km yatra by following options:
1. Helicopter
2. Palki
3. Horses
4. Bus # 11 (Walk) :-)

Helicopter:- There are two helicopter services available from Katra. Helicopter drops at Sanjichat which is approx 2 km far from Vaishno Devi Bhawan. You have to walk from Sanjichat to Bhawan.

Operator 1: Air Deccan - Air Deccan charge INR1550 per passenger (Including Taxes) from you for one way ride. Time slot for Air Deccan is 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM and 4:30 - 6:30 PM. Slot timing keep changing. Please check with them for their Current time slot. The Air Deccan booking can be done through any of Deccan Travel agent or from their website is
Operator 2: Himalayan Heli Service: Himalayan Heli Service is cheaper than Air Deccan. They charge INR1200 per passenger (Including Taxes). Himalyan is also operate in 2 slots & they are 9 AM - 11 AM & 2 PM - 4 PM. Time slots keeps changing so please check with Himalyan for time slots. The booking method available for Himalyan is to call them or some body will buy for you from their katra office. Till date they do not have any website. What I did I called them on their landline no & got my tickets booked. Once they will confirm your ticket on phone then it means they are booked. You no need to pay any thing over phone for booking.

The problem with Helicopter services is they wont operate some time due to weather. In my case the day was very foggy so they have halted their operation. They can give you option in another slot but concern is climate is beyond any one’s control. Me & my family have opted to walk rather than waiting. Due to that decision we saved our time because Helicopter services have resume their operation after 2 Days.

Palki:- Palki is for aged or Disables. The charges are approx INR2000 per head (Approx). Rate are fixed & written every where. If you feel that you have been asked for more then prompt local police.

Horses:- Horses are available at Banganga (Beginning point of Yatra).

Walking:- The Best choice is to walk. You can comfortably reach at bhawan by taking new way. New Road is diverted before 0.5 Km from Ardhkumari. From ArdhKumari there is a tunnel which meet new way. New way is the wide road which are more best way to watch & horses wont go from new way. New way is less steep than older way.
The best part of Journey is that you will enjoy the holy environment, Scenic view, Food. Rich, Poor every one walk & keep chanting Jai Mata Di.

ArdhKumari: Ardhkumari is Garbhjun where Maa Vaishno Devi had spent 9 months period. This is the belief that one should cross this cave before going to Bhawan. But Ardhkumari is all time crowded & there is all time long waiting queues. My Suggestion check if your waiting time is within 6 hrs then you can wait else go to bhawan & visit ardhkumari in your return journey. Well this is my view. You can take decision according to your belief & choices.

There is belief that any human being no matter how fatty he is, can cross narrow ardhkumari cave & Yes this is true.

Once you reach bhawan, first you need to have get the Batch #.
You must be tired by this time. Get a bath there. You will not forget this experience very easily.
Keep your luggage & belongings in clock room. There are Rooms & Dormitory available at Bhawan. For which booking can be done either or Shrine Board office, Katra.

On Bhawan there are 4 gates.
Gate 1 & 2: Gate 1 & 2 are the normal gate. Gate 2 remain close maximum time. You will get entry from gate 1. If there is rush time then you could have to wait for long. Long means some time it is 2-3 days too.
This kind of scenario happens only in time of Navaratas. But normally you need to wait 5-6 hrs.
Gate 3: This is entry for Military official & there family, friends. This lines join Gate 1&2 line at last. It saves lot of time. You need to not for long irruptive of rush.
Gate 4: This is VVIP gate. For the entrant of this gate goes direct for darshan without any stoppage.
Once you will be out after having darshan. You may want to enjoy food over there. Enjoy food.

Bhairav Mandir: Bhairav Mandir is 2.5 Km far from Bhawan. This is a belief that after having darshan of Maa Vaishno Devi you need to visit Bhairav Baba mandir. Bhairav Baba Mandir's way is not good. But it is not a big issue. Best thing at Bhairon Baba Mandir that it will not be much crowded.

You may rest at bhawan. Free Blankets are also available there. For every blanket you need to deposit INR100 as a Secuirty.

Hope the above information will help you. You may leave your review comments. If you would like to add more information then please go ahead. Wishing you & your family a very Happy journey.

PS: The author of this blog will not bear any responsibility of any Loss/Damage due to provided Information.