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Old 7th August 2011, 22:53   #1
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Default Trip to Holy Shrine of Maa Vaishno Devi : Need tips and suggestions!

Friends, I and my elder brother are planning to visit Holy shrine of Maa Vaishno Devi in October.

We will be going by Air on Friday, 7th October (reaching Jammu in afternoon) and will be returning on Sunday, 9th October (reaching Delhi in evening).

Now I want your help/guidance. I (and my brother) have visited Maa vaishno Devi only once when we were 2-3 year old so we don’t remember much about that trip. We have guidance from parents but as time has changed we would like to seek fresh information from you guys.

Now some quick questions/queries.

-> Please guide us on how to utilize this period in best possible way.

-> What other sites/temple we can visit in this quick trip.

-> Also please guide on how to reach Katara and Bhawan from Jammu airport.

-> Stay and food arrangements

-> Can I carry my camera/mobile all the way to bhawan or I have to keep that in hotel.

-> Any other suggestions/tips to make this trip memorable forever.

Last edited by bluevolt : 7th August 2011 at 22:55.
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Old 8th August 2011, 00:08   #2
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Default Re: Trip to Holy Shrine of Maa Vaishno Devi : Need tips and suggestions!

Hi bluevolt,

My replies are as follows:

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluevolt View Post
Friends, I and my elder brother are planning to visit Holy shrine of Maa Vaishno Devi in October.

We will be going by Air on Friday, 7th October (reaching Jammu in afternoon) and will be returning on Sunday, 9th October (reaching Delhi in evening).

Now I want your help/guidance. I (and my brother) have visited Maa vaishno Devi only once when we were 2-3 year old so we donít remember much about that trip. We have guidance from parents but as time has changed we would like to seek fresh information from you guys.

Now some quick questions/queries.

-> Please guide us on how to utilize this period in best possible way.


Since you are going by air, so you should do the Darshan on on Fri-Sat night itself. Pack your luggage as per the following plan:

--------> Reach Jammu Airport
--------> Hire a cab for Katra (around 40 Kms)
--------> Reach katra and first of all take Yatra Slip from the counter at the Bus Stand (next to Jewel's Hotel on Katra Bus Stand)
--------> Have Lunch (if required)
--------> Deposit one bag at the cloak room of Shrine Board's hotel (like Niharika at Katra Bus Stand) and get the reseipt. Take another bag with you containing one pair of clothes each.
--------> Take the auto rickshaw for Ban Ganga
--------> Start the yatra (around 12 kms walk) from ban ganga onwards for the Charan paduka, Adh Kuwari and Bhawan
--------> Lots of retail outlets (CCDs etc.) on your way to Bhawan for Tea, Coffee, Cold Drinks etc. So no need to carry extra weight.
--------> If you face problems in walking then choose the new route for Shrine from Adhkuwari otherwise do the darshan at Adhkuwari and then proceed for Bhawan. New route is comparaltively flat as per the older route (via Adhkuwari - HathiMattha)
--------> Deposit the bag, belt, purse, mobile, camera etc. at the shrine board counter in Adhkuwari before standing in the queue. Its safe.
--------> After darshan at Adkuwari, proceed for Bhawan
--------> Go staright to your rooms at Vasihnavi/Gauri Bhawan
--------> Take bath in the attached bathroom if you can't do the same (its cold water out there) at the designated area outside the shrine
--------> Leave the valuables (mobile, belts, camera etc.) in the room itself
--------> Join the queue as per the time of your Yatra Slip no.
--------> Do the Darshan
--------> Come back to your room and sleep
--------> Check the room before Saturday noon
--------> Start for the Bhairo baba darshan
--------> Come back to Katra by Saturday evening
--------> Get your luggage back form the cloak room
--------> Do some shopping but please beware of the material you buy there
--------> Start for Jammu and stay in a hotel at Jammu on the Saturday night. This time you can take a deluxe / volvo bus to jammu. Hotel Jewel in Jammu is also a good place to stay. Here is the contact details page: Hotel Jewels Jammu, Best Hotel Jammu, Good Time Great Taste

--------> Visit Raghunath temple and other adjoining areas on Sunday
--------> If required, you can do the shopping here in Jammu also
--------> Catch your flight back to Delhi

Here is the site of Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board to book Shrine Board accomodation at different locations: https://www.maavaishnodevi.org/room_bok_new.asp

No idea if they are currently booking online. But you need to do it before leaving Delhi as it will be a weekend and you might not get any rooms out there. I would rcommend to book it ASAP once your iternary is finalised.

Above mentioned plan has been advised because you are going on a weekend and there will be rush on Saturday & Sunday. Therefore, do the darshan on Friday itself and then think about anything else. You should rest in the room at Bhawan because you are going by air and it doesn't make any sense of checking into a room at Katra and wasting precious time. Saturday night should be in Jammu because it will be comfortable for you guys to do shopping and visit Raghunath Temple on Sunday morning.

-> What other sites/temple we can visit in this quick trip.
---------> As mentioend above

-> Also please guide on how to reach Katara and Bhawan from Jammu airport.
---------> As mentioend above

-> Stay and food arrangements
--------> On your way to Bhawan, there are lots of good renowned coffee joints. Please avoid heavy meals during your walk to Bhawan.
--------> Manokamna Bhawan at Shrine
--------> Jewels restaurant at Katra Bus Stand
--------> Lots of choices in Jammu (one will be Jewels itself)


-> Can I carry my camera/mobile all the way to bhawan or I have to keep that in hotel.
---------> As mentioned above


-> Any other suggestions/tips to make this trip memorable forever.
------> You could have gone via road and is also do-able in these timelines.

Hope this information helps.

Please do share the travelogue with lots of snaps upon your return.

Please do let me know in case you have any confusions.

Jai Mata Di!
Irish
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Old 8th August 2011, 09:15   #3
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Default Re: Trip to Holy Shrine of Maa Vaishno Devi : Need tips and suggestions!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish View Post
Hi bluevolt,

My replies are as follows:



Hope this information helps.

Please do share the travelogue with lots of snaps upon your return.

Please do let me know in case you have any confusions.

Jai Mata Di!
Irish
Thanks Irish for such detailed help.

I have booked the tickets today through yatra.com and the schedule is finalized. We are going on weekend because of leave problems as you know we all face. I will take the print out of your reply, it is of great help.

I will surely write a detailed Travelogue with lots of pictures as soon as I complete this trip.

Thanks again
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Old 8th August 2011, 14:08   #4
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Default Re: Trip to Holy Shrine of Maa Vaishno Devi : Need tips and suggestions!

Friends I am going on 7th October i.e. a day after Dussehra Festival. The Navratras will also end on 5th October. Can I expect some less rush or not?
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Old 8th August 2011, 15:20   #5
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Default Re: Trip to Holy Shrine of Maa Vaishno Devi : Need tips and suggestions!

Yes, you can surely expect much less crowd owing to the fact that navratra would have ended.

Since , you are going by air, I would suggest you take the mandatory Yatra slip from the airport itself .It is available at the shrine board trust counter in the arrival terminal for a payment of Rs. 50/- per person.That way you don't have to wait in the queue at Katra where it is free of cost. But fifty rupees for the convenience is not much.
Now some quick questions/queries.

-> Please guide us on how to utilize this period in best possible way.

-> What other sites/temple we can visit in this quick trip.
You will be back in Jammu by early saturday morning ,so after resting in Jammu through the day ,you can go to local temples like Raghunath temple and the market area around it which sells local goods but beware of high prices quoted by the shopkeepers .
Be very sure of what you are buying .Apart from that ,there is nothing much to do in JMU.

-> Also please guide on how to reach Katara and Bhawan from Jammu airport: Hire a taxi from the airport . they have fixed rates

-> Stay and food arrangements

-> Can I carry my camera/mobile all the way to bhawan or I have to keep that in hotel: No, mobile phones are not allowed but a camera should be OK. I have carried it in the past and nobody has objected.

-> Any other suggestions/tips to make this trip memorable forever.

Carry atleast one light pullover as you will be doing the yatra in the night and it gets a little cold towards the bhavan.
Enough food joints all along the way ,open 24*7 so no need to carry food with you.
If you do not wish to visit adhkawari, there is a bypass road just before adhkawari which goes to the bhavan which is less steep and does not allow horses to ply on that road so the walk is much more comfortable.
You can do adhkawari on the way back.
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Old 8th August 2011, 16:16   #6
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Default Re: Trip to Holy Shrine of Maa Vaishno Devi : Need tips and suggestions!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pottermore View Post
Yes, you can surely expect much less crowd owing to the fact that navratra would have ended.
Since , you are going by air, I would suggest you take the mandatory Yatra slip from the airport itself .It is available at the shrine board trust counter in the arrival terminal for a payment of Rs. 50/- per person.That way you don't have to wait in the queue at Katra where it is free of cost. But fifty rupees for the convenience is not much.
Thanks pottermore for your valuable tips and suggestions. I will take the yatra slip from airport itself, money is not an issue. I never knew if Yatra parchi is available from airport also, thanks for this useful tip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pottermore View Post
You will be back in Jammu by early saturday morning ,so after resting in Jammu through the day ,you can go to local temples like Raghunath temple and the market area around it which sells local goods but beware of high prices quoted by the shopkeepers .
Be very sure of what you are buying .Apart from that ,there is nothing much to do in JMU.

Yes, Raghunath mandir is in our sightseeing list. We have no definite plans for shopping but will try to buy famous kashmir shawls if they are available at suitable price.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pottermore View Post
Hire a taxi from the airport . they have fixed rates
Earlier I was thinking of reaching katara by bus but I will now take taxi for the sake of saving time. I guess it will cost around 700-800 only.

Along with that I will carry two cameras. Will keep my SLR at room only and try to take P&S with me till they allow.

Thank you again for the information.

EDIT - One more query which just came to my mind is that should I book a room earlier (through tele-booking or online as they offer) or will it be available on the spot?

Last edited by bluevolt : 8th August 2011 at 16:18.
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Old 8th August 2011, 22:16   #7
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Default Re: Trip to Holy Shrine of Maa Vaishno Devi : Need tips and suggestions!

Since it will be a weekend, there are chances that all the rooms will be booked. If you want to do a peaceful darshan then please book a room ASAP. Why do you ant to take any chances? If you don't get a room then all you wont be able to sleep in the night. Therefore your Saturday may be affected.

Also you won't face the Navratri rush but still there will be a Weekend rush starting from Friday evening onwards.

All the best!

Jai Mata Di !!

- Irish

Last edited by Irish : 8th August 2011 at 22:21.
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Old 9th August 2011, 10:48   #8
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Default Re: Trip to Holy Shrine of Maa Vaishno Devi : Need tips and suggestions!

Ensure that you carry some woollens with you. October if it rains will get chilly.
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Old 20th August 2011, 23:30   #9
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Default Re: Trip to Holy Shrine of Maa Vaishno Devi : Need tips and suggestions!

Hi mates,

Nothing special is up for the trip except for my plan of purchasing a DSLR and taking it along the trip. Don't know how safe would be that? Need your advice on this. Should I take the DSLR or P&S would be OK?

Also I am not able to book a room for my trip from maa vaishno devi shrine board site as the booking page is not displaying room vacancies for that period. The site is only taking booking for next 20-25 day period.
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Old 9th September 2011, 23:39   #10
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Default Re: Trip to Holy Shrine of Maa Vaishno Devi : Need tips and suggestions!

Please guide me on whether I need to book a hotel room right now or will it be available on spot?

Official shrine board shine is not showing availability of rooms.
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Old 6th October 2011, 15:44   #11
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Default Re: Trip to Holy Shrine of Maa Vaishno Devi : Need tips and suggestions!

OK Guys I am leaving for the holy shrine tomorrow. Thanks for tips and suggestions.

Jai Mata Di!
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Old 6th October 2011, 18:41   #12
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Default Re: Trip to Holy Shrine of Maa Vaishno Devi : Need tips and suggestions!

All the Best, Bluevolt! Wish you a very Happy & Safe Journey and a good Darshan.

Jai Mata Di!
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Old 9th October 2011, 19:07   #13
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Default Re: Trip to Holy Shrine of Maa Vaishno Devi : Need tips and suggestions!

Guys I just returned back and had a fantastic darshan of Maa Vaishno Devi Ji.

Special Thanks to BHPians - Irish, Harish, Wanderernomad, Pottermore for their suggestions which made my trip comfortable.

Travelogue coming soon.

Last edited by bluevolt : 9th October 2011 at 19:08.
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Old 14th October 2011, 19:50   #14
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Default Re: Trip to Holy Shrine of Maa Vaishno Devi : Need tips and suggestions!

Planning to visit in January. Is it a good time to visit this place in January?
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Old 14th October 2011, 20:19   #15
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Default Re: Trip to Holy Shrine of Maa Vaishno Devi : Need tips and suggestions!

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Planning to visit in January. Is it a good time to visit this place in January?
The shrine is open round the year. It would be the coldest month in the year though. You can expect less crowds during this time.
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