Katra or Katra Vaishno Devi is popularly known, is a small
town in Udhampur district of the Jammu and Kashmir, India. It
is situated in the foothills of the Trikuta Mountains, where
the sacred temple of Vaishno Devi is located.Katra is located
at an elevation of 754 meters (2,474 feet). Katra is situated
in the Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir. This attractive
destination is located about 42 kilometers from the city of
Jammu.Katra usually serves as the base camp for all those
devotees who visit Vaishno Devi and this has made Katra one of
the most famous tourist destinations. Hindi, Punjabi and
Kashmiri are local languages of Katra.
The main bazaar of Katra is worth to visit which is famous for
woolen garments, hosiery, leather jackets etc which are of
excellent value from this place. One should also buy dryfruits
which are the speciality of this state. Katra is located at
32.98°N 74.95°E.It has an average altitude of 754 metres
(2,474 feet). As of 2011 India census, Katra along with
Ban-Ganga had a population of 37569.
Katra is about seven - eight hour drive from Srinagar, Katra
become famous because of the Vaishno Devi cave temple.
Pilgrims gather here in millions to this holy temple town of
the Goddess Vaishnodevi. This shrine is believed to be built
by the Pandavas and it is one among the oldest of the all the
temples in India and situated at an elevation of 5200 feet.
The temple portrays almost all the deities of the Hindu
Pantheon. High amidst the snow clad mountain peaks, the shrine
has a commanding view of the wonderful Himalayas.
Climate of Katra
Summer Season in Katra
The beautiful town of Katra witnesses sub tropical climate all
over the year but the best time to visit Katra is from March to
November. Summer season in the city is quite warm and hot. The
temperature of the region rises to a maximum of forty degrees
(40°C). Summer season in the town of Katra enlarges through the
months of May, June and July.
Winter Season in Katra
Usually winter season in the town of Katra is during the month
of October, November, December, January and February. People
travelling to Katra must carry woollen clothes.
Monsoon Season in Katra
Rainfall in the region is quite rare and occurs during the month
of August and ends in the month of September. Generally during
the monsoon season, the region witnesses high
Events / Festivals in Katra
It is one of the well-known festivals which is celebrated on the
13th of April, every year. This festival is one of the prominent
Sikh festivals and is celebrated by both local devotees as well
as foreigners with great zeal. It is one of the famous and
popular festivals in Katra. This famous festival is dedicated to
the start of the cropping season in Northern India.
It is another famous festivals of Katra which is celebrated on
the 13th of January. The Lohri festival symbolizes the
fruitfulness of the earth. This festival is dedicated to welcome
the beginning of spring season and to the end of the winter
season. During the festival, local people also celebrate the
taking of the winter crop. Generally, people celebrate this
festival during the night and groups of people gather round
bonfires. They celebrate this festival by throwing sweets,
puffed rice and popcorn into the flames and usually they also
worship the fire.
Tourism of Katra
Katra serves as the base camp for pilgrims who visit
Vaishno Devi. It has a flourishing tourism industry that
offers plenty of hotels, guest houses, restaurants, dhabas,
fast-food joints that fit all kinds of budgets. Over the
years, a lot has changed, but one should not miss the
opportunity to walk through the main bazaar (market) for
buying (do not forget/hesitate to negotiate a bit)
souvenirs, dryfruits, woolen garments, hosiery, leather
To reach Vaishno Devi temple the pilgrims have to register
at the Katra before starting the trek. By registering, the
pilgrims get accidental insurance while on the trek for 1
lakh INR. It is a trek of 10.5 km.There is another trek of about 1.5 km from Vaishno Devi
temple for Baba Bhaironnath. It is said that the
pilgrimage is not complete until one visit this temple at
last. The landscape throughout the trek is picturesque.Environment-friendly auto rickshaws and helicopter
services also have started now-a-days to make the journey
Tourist Attractions in Katra are-
Temple of Vaishno Devi
Temple of Vaishno Devi is the main reason to visit
Katra and it is one of the main attraction of Katra. It is
one of the famous cave shrines of Goddess Vaishno Devi
which is also known as Trikuta Bhagwati. This temple is
located at a height of 5200 feet. In this beautiful holy
shrine the goddess is symbolized in the form of three
Shiv Khori is another attractive tourist destination
and one of the important Katra attractions. It is situated
about 75 kilometers from Katra, it has its own religious
implication and stands on the second place after Vaishno
Devi. This place is famous for its naturally formed Shiv
linga which is a symbol of Lord Shiva. The shiv linga is 4
feet in high. Large number of devotees from all over the
country comes to this place on the occasion of Shivratri
as there is a major fair here.
Baba Dhansar is located about 10 kilometers from Katra.
This place is famous for its cool and pleasurable
atmosphere which makes it one of the wonderful picnic
spots for travelers. This beautiful tourist destination is
located in the middle of the thick grove of trees that
brings together a large number of travelers every year
from all over the country.
Dera Baba Banda
Dera Baba Banda a holy place of Sikhs is another major
tourist attraction of Katra which is located just about 30
kms from the town. This place is considered as an
important Hindu-Sikh pilgrimage center. This gurudwara was
built by Baba Banda Bairaagi near the banks of river
How to reach Katra
The nearest railway station in Jammu Tawi, which is connected to
many cites in India, especially in the northern part. Trains are
cheaper than buses for destinations in nearby states.
Buses to Katra can be taken from the nearby town of Jammu. One
can take buses from many main cities to Jammu, from where one
can reach Katra.
The nearest air base is at Srinagar (300 km) which is connected
to major cities of the country.