The nearest Railway Station and Airport are at Jammu, at a distance of 50 Kms from Base camp Katra. A regular bus services are plying from Railway Station, Air port and General Bus Stand Jammu to Katra. Also number of Taxies, Tourist vans, Deluxe Busses are available at these places. However number of inter state busses are available for Katra from almost all the major cities of North India.
The Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine is linked to the Base Camp Katra with a 13 Kms track. The entire uphill Journey from Katra to Bhawan is on foot, however, one can hire ponies, palkies or pithoo for ease of journey.
Recently Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board has started the air taxi services between Jammu, Katra and Sanjichat at the normal rates.
Route of shri Mata Vaishno Devi
The 13 Kms hilly track between Katra and Bhawan contains number of ancient temples and view-points for rest and enjoy natural beauty. The first stop is at Banganga, 1 Km away from Katra where one can have holy bath in the Banganga and have a Langer/Parshad (free food) run by famous T-series Industries.
The second stop Charanpadhuka is about 2.5 Kms away from Banganga. It is believed that Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji took rest while moving towards the Trikuta Hills. The place contains the foot prints of Goddess, and thus the place is named Charanpadhuka Temple..
The third stop Adkuwari is about 3 Kms from Charanpadhuka. Here one can stay for night as half of the journey is over. At Adkuwari the devotees can have Darshan of Adkuwari Temple and Gerbhjoon (an ancient Cave of about 20 feet). It is believed that Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji hide herself from Bairon Nath in this cave for 9 months.
After a steep height of about 4 Kms from Adkuwari the fourth and last stop is Sanjichat. The Sanjichat is the highest place in the track. One can enjoy the aerial view of Katra, Udhampur, Reasi and Jammu.
From Sanjichat about 2.5 Kms downhill track led to Bhawan the holy Shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi. About 0.5 Kms from Bhawan on the Bahawan-Sanjichat track an about 2 Kms link track lead to the Bairon Nath temple. The track is further linked with Sanjichat though dense forest containing different species of wild life such as Langoor, Monkeys and other wild birds.
For the ease of Journey the tourist must
. Register themselves at the booking counter Katra and get the yatra slip
. Get permission for the video camera, if interested.
. Check the identity card of the Pithoo, Pony and Palki before hiring them.
. For ease of Journey Travel as light as possible, since all the facilities are available on the track.
. Avoid the use of Polythene bag to protect the environment.
. Throw the waste in the waste-boxes available.
. Walk on the track only and enjoy the beauty of the nature. Wrong track can lead to disastrous results.
. While leaving for the Darshan of the Holy Shrine, deposit your belongings at the clock rooms and get the receipt.
. Donations are to be made at the donation counters and get the receipt duly signed.