Sightseeing, adventure & spiritualism, Gulmarg offers the best of each.

Katra Travel Guide

Situated at the base of the Trikuta Mountains, Katra, a major religious destination in Jammu, is the base camp for the devotees who are visiting the sacred shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi. The expedition to the shrine from Katra is a walking journey of around 13 km and is full of beautiful views, and although it is visited throughout the year, the best time to visit it is from March to October. Travelers can easily access Katra, a small town in Udhampur District, from Jammu city, which is around 45 km away. Dotted with numerous hotels, guesthouses, restaurants and Dhabas, Katra is a prime destination of Jammu and Kashmir tourism. Being associated with Mata Vaishno Devi Yatra, most of the famous tourist attractions in Katra are religious places like Charan Paduka, Bhairo Mandir and Geeta Mandir. But what makes Katra a popular tourist attraction in Jammu & Kashmir is not just the spiritual experience that you get, but also the sightseeing opportunities that you can enjoy along with it, for example, in places like Ban Ganga & Tiruka Parbat. You can also enjoy shopping during your holidays in Katra, which is an exciting & unique experience because many of the things that are found here in its bustling markets, like Kashmiri motifs, cane baskets & stoles, are found exclusively in this region. Gulmarg was once a favourite summer holiday destination for British soldiers stationed in India. Learn why as you trek around the photogenic Alapther Lake or hike the spell-bindingly vast Kashmir Valley. Bring a picnic to a serene spot along the Ningle or Ferozpore streams and see views of the mighty Nanga Parbat, one of the world's highest peaks. Experienced trekkers can challenge themselves with a multi-day hike up Mount Apharwat. This difficult walk is best traversed with a guide. At the summit, take in enthralling vistas from the roof of the world. Other summer activities include mountain biking, horseriding or spotting birds through Gulmarg's natural vistas. Fish at the river or work on your swing at the highest golf course in the world. See the views with ease from the Gulmarg Gondola. This two-stage cable car carries visitors from Gulmarg Station to the shoulder of Mount Apharwat, 12,959 feet (3,950 metres) above sea level. It is counted among the top tourist destinations of Kashmir because there are opportunities for camping, sightseeing, trekking, pilgrimage yatra, white water rafting and fishing. A family holiday to Pahalgam is very exciting and you can do a lot of things to make your vacation a fun filled one. You can spend time by the bank of the Lidder River & enjoy the blissful company of Mother Nature. Other places where you can see the awe inspiring beauty of Pahalgam are Aru & Betaab valleys along with Bainsaran, which are dotted with meadows, lakes & streams. Pahalgam is also popular as a spiritual destination for being the starting point of the Amarnath Yatra, which is undertaken by Hindu pilgrims during the months of June & August, and begins at a town called Chandanwari, located almost 16 kilometers from it. For adventure enthusiasts, Pahalgam is a haven as they can enjoy camping at Tarsar Lake, Lidderwat, Kolahoi Glacier & Panchtarni. An ultimate adrenaline rush awaits you with white water rafting at Lidder River, which is also famous for a fun filled activity like trout fishing. Get the most authentic information in this detailed Pahalgam travel guide before planning a trip, including how to reach, best time to visit, top tourist attractions & accommodation options. Plan a trip with Pahalgam tour packages offered by Gurez Valley Trekkers that are available at the best prices & deals.

Popular Tourist Attractions in Katra

Mata Vaishno Devi Temple

The second-most visited Hindu pilgrimage destination in India, Mata Vaishno Devi Cave Temple is situated in the Trikuta Hills in Katra, Jammu & Kashmir. Hindu devotees from all over the world visit this famed religious site where the Mother Goddess or Mata Vaishno Devi is said to fulfill their wishes. This religious place is considered the most important Shaktipeeth as it is believed, here the skull of the Goddess Sati fell.
At Mata Vaishno Devi Cave, the goddess is in the form of a five and a half feet tall rock which has three heads or the Pindies. On Mata Vaishno Devi pilgrimage, devotees make traditional offerings to Mata of chunri (a red coloured drape), sarees, dry fruits, silver or gold ornaments, cholas, flowers etc.
Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board was formedu in 1986 and ever since this most popular religious site in Jammu started to attract a lot of Hindu pilgrims.
According to the legend, while escaping from Bhairon Nath towards the caves in the Trikuta Hills, Mata Vaishno Devi came to a halt at a place where one can still see her footprints on a rock slab.

Charan Paduka

The religious site of Charan Paduka in Katra is popular amongst pilgrims who visit Mata Vaishno Devi Cave Temple. This white temple is believed to be the place where Mata Vaishno Devi/Vaishnavi stopped over to check if she was still being chased by Bhairon Nath, the disciple of Mahayogi Guru Goraksh Nathji.
In Charan Paduka Temple, the feet impression of Mata Vaishno Devi can be seen on a rock slab. The holy temple in Katra is situated at a height of 1030 m and is at a short distance away from Banganga River and Bridge. It was earlier a small shrine but now it has been transformed into a scenic and large temple.

Ban Ganga River in Katra

An important religious site for the Hindu devotees, Ban Ganga is a sacred river where devotees in Katra like to take a dip before continuing the Mata Vaishno Devi Yatra. Originating from the southern slope of the Shivalik Range of Himalayas, Ban Ganga River has two ghats where a large number of Hindu devotees take a holy dip.
The river is an important tributary of the Chenab River and got its name from two words, Ban meaning Arrow and Ganga which stands for sacred river of India, Ganges. Thus, the river is also called the twin of Ganges.
It is believed that the goddess washed her hair in the water of the river, and thus, it is also known as Bal Ganga, where Bal means hair.
The legend has it, the severed head of Bhairon Nath tossed to the adjacent hill to Trikuta. While dying, Bhairon realized his mistakes and asked Mata Vaishno Devi for forgiveness. The goddess not only forgave him but also gave him the boon of being worshipped by the devotees who would come seeking her blessing at the Bhawan.

Bhairon Temple

Bhairon Temple sits at a distance of 3 km from the Bhawan or the holy cave of Mata Vaishno Devi in Katra. It is the next pilgrimage destination after Mata Vaishno Devi Cave Temple that the pilgrims visit. In fact, the sacred yatra to Mata Vaishno Devi is only considered complete when the devotees pay homage at Bhairon Mandir, thus, a large number of Hindu pilgrims visit this sacred temple.
The temple is situated at the adjacent hill of Trikuta at an elevation of 2017 m. A havan kund marks as an important attraction at Bhairon Temple, the ashes of which are considered holy.

Trikuta Parvat

Trikuta Parvat is a sacred place in Katra and is visited by Hindu devotees who come for Mata Vaishno Devi Yatra. The holy hill is 10 km away from Deoghar on the way to Dumka and is situated at a height of 752 m. There are three hills and this why it is also called Trikutachal, Tri stands for three.
During the Shravan month (July-August), a large number of Lord Shiva devotees visit Trikuta Parvat to collect wood apples (bel) since the region is rich in the fruit and is also called Garden of Shiva. There’s also a Shiva Temple on Trikuta Parvat called Trikutachal Mahadev Temple. In this temple, even Goddess Trishuli is also worshipped. The temple is also place from where River Mayurkashi also originates. On Trikuta Hill, there’s also a cottage of Dayananda and the place is mostly famous as a picnic spot. It is visited by both Hindu devotees and tourists alike.
According to the legends, Sage Bam Bam Baba used to visit Trikuta Hills for meditation.
The months between March and October are the best to visit Geeta Mandir due to salubrious weather of the place. In winters, it gets quite cold making it a bit inconvenient to travel.

Geeta Mandir in Katra

En route Mata Vaishno Devi Temple, the sacred Geeta Mandir in Katra is one of the sites for the Hindu devotees to pay homage. The holy shrine is situated close to Ban Ganga Bridge and boasts beautiful architecture.
The temple is also known as a place to take some rest for the pilgrims before heading further in their Mata Vaishno Devi Yatra. Devotees from far and wide visit the temple every year to seek the blessings of safe and hassle-free pilgrimage to the holy Bhawan. There is another temple close to this shrine called Pratham Charan Mandir.

Frequently Asked Questions

From Jammu Airport, located about 50 kilometers from Katra, you can hire private vehicles and taxis to reach Katra. From Udhampur Railway Station, located almost 41.3 kilometers away, you can hire taxis and private vehicles to reach Katra.

Vaishno Devi is located almost 15.4 kilometers away from Katra, or a driving distance of about 1 hour 6 minutes.

No Prepaid Sim works in any part of Jammu and Kashmir, including Katra. You will have to purchase Postpaid SIM cards before visiting Katra, as only Postpaid Sim cards work in Jammu and Kashmir.

Katra is located 49.1 kilometers approx from Jammu, or at a driving distance of 1 hour 17 minutes. 

Katra is an important base town for pilgrims going to Vaishno Devi Temple, so there are various accommodation options, ranging from luxury and budget to mid range hotels. You will also find guesthouses and ashrams.

We’re always working to get your orders on their way to you as quickly as we can. Most orders will be dispatched within 2-4 business days, though there may be some delays around sales and peak periods. You’ll get a notification when your order has started its journey.

Here is detailed information how you can reach Katra by air, rail and road.

By Air

The Satwari Airport in Jammu is the nearest airport to Katra (51 km away) and it is well-connected to all the major cities of India. Taxis can be hired from outside the airport to reach Katra.

By Train

The Katra Railway Station was inaugurated recently and it lies on the Jammu-Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Railway Link. It is connected to Delhi and direct trains from Delhi to Katra are available. The Jammu Tawi Railway Station (53 km) is the next nearest railway station. It is the oldest and the most important railway station of Jammu & Kashmir. It is well-connected to all the major cities of the country.

By Road

Katra is well-connected to Jammu by State and National Highways. Direct buses to Katra are available from Jammu, Delhi, Chandigarh, Amritsar, Dharamshala, Pathankot and many other cities of India.

Can’t find what you are looking for?