Best Things To Do in Mata Vaishno Devi

Take a humbling hike

Take a humbling hike Hiking 13 km to Mata Vaishno Devi from the base camp is one of the fascinating things to do: from Mountains coming alive with echoes of Jai Mata Di (Hail Mother Goddess), shops buzzing with activities, people making a beeline to colorful food stalls, and individuals mounted on horseback narrating their devotional stories during this trek.

The trek commencing at Ban Ganga goes through stops, namely, Paduka, Adhukwari, Himkoti, Sanjhchhat, and finally reaches the sanctum sanctorum of the deity. On this trek, you get to enjoy the stunning bird’s eye view of the valley below. The tour becomes more mesmerizing at night, with the night light shimmering in the peaks.

When you trek at night, you also get a chance to see the golden sunrise lighting up the snow-clad pyramid peaks. The whole experience fills you with gratitude towards your creator and makes you bow down in modesty to his magnificence.
Board a whopper chopper
Board a whopper chopper In Mata Vaishno Devi, you don’t just have to be satisfied with fleecy white clouds overhead; you can actually be in them. The pilgrims can take a helicopter service to reach the shrine, for which a prior two months booking is required. The service is available from Katra to Sanjhchatt, from where the holy shrine is a 5 km trek away.

The ride is open for all age groups and lasts for 8 minutes. In these 8 minutes, the splendid aerial view of the site and the whispers of the rustling wind leave you spellbound and give you a rush of adrenaline. All in all, it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Raft the Rapids
Raft the Rapids If you think Mata Vaishno Devi is just a pilgrimage site, think again, as the place is a den for daredevils. The base campsite Katra boasts of one of the most thrilling rafting stretches worldwide.

Undertake this exhilarating adventure in the icy cold waters of River Chenab. The 15 km of white water rafting stretch pumps up your epinephrine and satiates your thirst for the thrill.

You don’t have to be an ace rafter to navigate the raft, as even beginners equipped with proper safety equipment and guided by professionals can indulge in rafting here. So fill the colors of adventure in your monotonous life and swish past whirling waves.
Fight the height like a knight
Fight the height like a knight Though you can enjoy horse rides at numerous places, nothing even comes close to riding a horse on your way up to the Mata Vaishno Devi. The very thought of riding a horse on an approximately 1500 m high route cut through cliffs is elating.

Feel no less than a knight mounted on horseback and ascending the altitude. Participate in the activity at Ban Ganga base camp, and up you go to Mata Vaishno Devi cave. However, one must only take up this activity under the supervision of an expert.

During this enthralling journey, challenge your fear of height only to witness the unmatched vistas of mountains. It is a win-win activity where you get enthralled by the experience and magnetized by the scenery you encounter en route to this adventure.
Cart away the collectables
Cart away the collectables When in Mata Vaishno Devi, ensure your visit ends with shopping as the base of the pilgrimage, Katra, is a remarkable shopping destination. In its Katra Main Bazar market, you will find everything native to Jammu and more. Delectables like dried apples, dried mangoes, berries, cherries, walnuts, raisins, almonds, and other dry fruits are available here.

You will also come across several eateries and cafés where you can eat hop piping food and drink tasty hot beverages like hot chocolate, cappuccino, etc. Then there is the Bhawan market where you can buy all your religious items be it saris and shawls, to offer to the Goddess or gold or silver coins embossed with images of mata as blessed tokens.

Find Mata Vaishno Devi photo pendants, pictures of cave shrines, bangles, and Pooja articles here. If you want Kashmiri handicrafts and fabrics as souvenirs, go to Sanjhi Chhat market. It presents to you a collection of Kashmiri embroidered suits, shawls, Pashmina stoles, and other materials. You can also pick up walnut wood carvings and other Kashmiri handicrafts from here. In short, there is a variety on display in markets near Mata Vaishno Devi, and shopping here is immensely gratifying.