Situated at the foothills of the most picturesque Trikuta Mountains, Katra is a beautiful tourist destination in Reasi district of Jammu. Known as the gateway to Vaishno Devi shrine, Katra serves as the base camp for the pilgrims. With plenty of places to explore in and around Katra along with many exciting things to do, this small town of Jammu is an attraction for a large number of tourists. Also, thousands of pilgrims visit here all year round to pay homage at one of the most popular temples of India, Vaishno Devi. Despite being small in size, there are an array of hotels in Katra ranging from budget to luxury and also amazing food joints which makes it a tourist friendly destination. A perfect place for spiritual seekers, trekkers and mountain lovers, this religious place in India offers incredible opportunities to the travelers.
Best Time to Visit Katra
Katra is an all year round destination that can be visited anytime. However, the peak season is March to June and October to November as the weather remains pleasant here during this time of year. Tourists also visit Katra during December to February to enjoy snowfall. The time between July to September is considered the off season as the number of tourists drops due to rainfall.
History of Katra
The antiquity of Katra goes majorly with the history of Vaishno Devi shrine as it is primarily the base camp for this revered pilgrimage. The holy cave where Pindis were placed was discovered by Pandit Shridhar 700 years back and he was the one who built the temple and spent his entire life serving the Goddess. According to legends, he was blessed with a boon of four sons by the Goddess herself and also got a right from her to worship her manifestation. She asked him to spread the glory of the Holy Shrine and since then thousands of pilgrims throng here every month from different parts of the country in order to seek blessings from Goddess Shakti.
Places to Visit Near Katra
Apart from the famous Vaishno Devi temple, Katra has some amazing places in close proximity that are totally worth visiting. Check out!
Located at a distance of 84.6 km from Katra, Patnitop is a famous hill station and resort that offers fascinating experiences to the travelers. Right from breathtaking scenic vistas to thrilling activities like trekking, skiing etc, this winter destination is totally worth visiting on your trip to Katra.
2. Shiv Khori
The holy cave and abode of Lord Shiva, Shiv Khori is a beautiful place to visit which is about 70 km from Katra. The main attractions of the cave are a 4 feet high naturally formed Shivling along with milky water dripping from the top of it symbolizing the eternity of the holy river Ganga which are real wonders to watch.
3. Baba Dhansar
Baba Dhansar is yet another revered temple of Lord Shiva that is located at a distance of about 15 km from Katra. The place is also famous for a huge spring emerging from the rocks and cascading waterfalls.
Sanasar is a quaint hamlet which is about 105 km away from Katra and about 17 kms from Patnitop. A perfect place for a peaceful holiday, this place close to Katra offers a breathtaking view of meadows and some thrilling activities like paragliding. You can also enjoy golfing at Sanasar.
Located on the slopes of Patnitop mountain range, Batote is yet another stunning resort that offers a breathtaking view of Chenab gorge. It is about 82 km from Katra and is situated at an altitude of 1560 metres. It is a perfect place to bask in the lap of nature and enjoy laid back time.
6. Jhajjar Kotli
Located on the banks of pristine Jhajjar river, Jhajjar Kotli Tourist Complex is a perfect place for picnic. This picnic spot is about 16 km from Katra and is famous for its cool environ. There is a cafeteria and a small tourist bungalow that is fully equipped with amenities if you wish to spend a night here.
How To Reach Katra
Due to the holy shrine present here, Katra witnesses a heavy tourist influx all year round. It is the famous pilgrimage town that can be easily reached by road, railway and flights conveniently from Jammu. Check out!
Nearest Famous City. Jammu
Nearest Airbase. Jammu
Nearest Railhead. Satwari Airport, Katra Station
Distance from Jammu. 42 km
Katra does not have its own airport, hence Satwari Airport of Jammu serves as the nearest airport to this holy town. There are regular flights from all prominent Indian cities like Delhi, Chandigarh, Mumbai, Amritsar, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore etc. After deboarding, passengers can hire a taxi from outside the airport for onward journey to Katra.
Distance from Satwari Airport. 40 km
Here is a list of Indian cities from where flights are available to Katra
You can reach Katra through direct trains to Katra Railway Station on the Jammu Udhampur Srinagar Baramulla Railway Link. However, it is connected through limited train service. So the best option is to take a train for Jammu Tawi Railway station which is well connected to all cities of India such as Kolkata, Amritsar, Delhi, Dehradun, Pathankot, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh etc.
Distance from Jammu Tawi Railway Station. 53 km
Katra is well connected through state and national highways. Regular buses operate to and from Katra to cities like Delhi, Chandigarh, Dehradun, Patiala, Amritsar, Dharamshala, Pathankot etc at frequent intervals. You can also consider reaching Katra by your own car.