Katra to Mata Vaishno Devi Bhawan – Katra Town & Facilities

Know the facilities and services available to do Mata Vaishno Devi Yatra with ease

Blog Home | Surbhi Mishra | 07-10-2022

From Mata Vaishno Devi base camp that is Katra to Mata’s Bhawan on Trikuta hills, the 13 km trek could be anything from tiring, challenging, and dehydrating for those who are not used to travelling miles on foot or climbing mountains. Knowing the difficulties and rough terrain, devotees still wish to visit the famous temple with thousands of visitors daily who have nothing in their hearts but devotion for Mata Vaishno Devi. Devotees see this arduous journey as their penance to cleanse their minds and bodies before offering their prayers with a pious soul. 

Yet there are times when the desire to meet Mata Vaishno Devi is obstructed by the health challenges and high altitude sickness symptoms that emerge as one proceeds to reach the top. While many devotees prefer to walk on foot and trek those miles, others can’t, even if they wish to. For such events, locals and municipal committees are in charge of providing services such as that of Palkies, Ponies and Pithoos. It can be used to carry luggage or for people aged or not fit to undertake the Yatra. These people providing services of Palkies and Ponies are duly registered with the municipal committee. Thus, they all carry authentic and verified identity cards and token numbers.

Feeling tired or dehydrated? Hire Palkies, Ponies & Pithoos. It is far too easy and comfortable to hire them at the beginning of the journey than in the middle. Know that there is a fixed rate for these services. And no one can charge extra above it. Moreover, on your journey, you can also avail of these facilities.


Niharika Bhawan provides viable stay options for pilgrims. Image: maavaishnodevi.org

Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board is in charge of providing well-maintained, clean and economical accommodation. You can check in at the Katra bus stand at Niharika and Shakti Bhawan. Apart from rooms (AC & Non-AC), dormitories are available at Rs 100 per bed in Niharika Bhawan. At your second Yatra counter (YRC-II) near Trikuta Bhawan, 500 bedded accommodation facilities are available. 

You can book them or enquire about the availability of the rooms at the Niharika complex. Online reservation is also available at the official website.

Accommodation is provided to the Yatris on a no-profit or loss basis. They are free to avail based on the availability of the rooms. Apart from these, there are Dharamshalas in Katra, which are either free or accessible at a nominal price. 

Also read: Climate Considerations & Clothing While Planning Mata Vaishno Devi Yatra

Cloak Room Facilities

Though religious pilgrimage such as Mata Vaishno Devi Temple requires you to arrive with lesser and lighter luggage, there are facilities available to those who come with extra bags and cannot bring that along while trekking the track. Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board provides the facilities.

Food & Refreshment Services

Katra is a religious place, and as such, many vegetarian restaurants and catering outlets are available to pilgrims. All of these outlets provide pure vegetarian food without any onions or garlic. Pilgrims are asked to respect the sanctity of the Holy place by not demanding non-vegetarian meals or alcohol from any outlets.

Medical Facilities

There is a block hospital at Katra that takes care of the medical needs of the pilgrims, as well as a 24-hour charitable dispensary run by the Shrine Board. Basic medical facilities at Banganga, Ardhkuwari, Sanjichhat, and Bhawan can address emergency needs. Unlike Amarnath Yatra, there is no need to bring along medical certificates. However, if you are suffering from altitude sickness or are not feeling well, you can get medical advice and check the facilities in Katra.

About the author

Surbhi Mishra
A travel lover and moody chef, Surbhi loves to read & write and doodle in her free time. For her, being able to write is a blessing, and to keep at it—a work-in-progress. When not working, you can find her swimming her worries away, dancing to the beats, or filling up her bucket list to tick them off.