Katra Travel Guide
Katra Travel Guide
Katra, it is a small and beautiful city in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. This small but important town in terms of tourism, Katra is located in the south eastern part of the newly carved out Reasi district in J&K. All those devotees who visit Mata vaishno Devi Dham will travel through this place. Basically Katra serves as a base camp for Maa Vaishno Devi Yatra. Being a base camp the city is also called Katra Vaishno Devi. Ban Ganga is one of the important rivers that flow close to the city.
History of Katra
The place is one of the most beautiful places nestled in the lap of mountains and picturesque sceneries. The history of the Katra is as interesting as this place. According to the legends, when Lord Ram was exiled he met with an vestal named Vaishnavi, who wish to marry him but Lord Ram taken wow of one wife so he promised her to marry her in Kali Yuga the present era when here incarnate as Kalki Avataar and asked her to situated at Trikut Mountain and bless the devotees. According to another legend, 700 years back, to bring an end to a Bhairo Nath a demon God, Mata Vaishnavi re incarnated. One day when Bhairo Nath saw Goddess he started chasing her, in the way goddess felt thirsty and retrieve banganga by shooting an arrow into the earth. The same ban ganga river is flowing near Katra. She then hid in the cave at Ardhkanwari and it took 9 months for Bhairo Nath to find her. When the demon God found her, Goddess Vaishnavi appeared as Goddess Kali and cut off Bhairon Nath’s head. The head fell at the same place where today the Bhairon Temple is located.
Culture – Traditions and Cuisine of Katra
The base camp for Vaishno Devi devotees, the city of Katra is visited by lakh of visitors during a year. As the town is located near Jammu district the culture of katra is highly influence by the city. Major languages which are spoken here are Dogri, Poonchi, Gojri, Kotli, Hindi, Punjabi, and Urdu. As Katra is visited by thousands of international travellers, English is also become a strong medium of communication. The city is majorly consists of Hindu community. The aroma of religiousness and spirituality is in abundance at this place. There are many temples in and around the city. Along with Hindu, the city also has people from Sikh, Buddhists and Muslim community.
People of Katra celebrate the festivals like Lohri, baisakhi, Bahu Mela and jhiri Mela and Shivratri. The major festival which is celebrated with all zeal and enthusiasm is Navratri Festivals. If you visit this city you will definitely going to fall for the art and craft of the city. People of the city also love the dance and music. People of all different age and whether it’s an adult or a child every person has a specific taste for their traditional music and dance forms.
Cuisine in Katra
The city is always been a visual delight for visitors. The city is merely 40 km from Jammu city. Jammu being the closes city, you can see huge influence of Jammu in Katra’s food culture. The city offers you a scrumptious Dongra dishes which are quite popular in all around India. Locals mostly have Rajma and Chawal (Rice). Other finger licking dishes are duma loo, Kashmiri pulaao and patisa. Travellers are offered with numerous of accommodation options in Katra. Most of the hotels in Katra are Budget Hotels which are situated near main market. There a lone Luxury Hotel you will get at Reasi Road. For free accommodation you will also stay at dharamshalas for pilgrims.
Best Places to Visit Katra
Vaishno Devi Mandir:
The holiest shrine of Hindu devotees. The main reason to visit Katra is the journey to Maa Vaishno Devi. The temple is dedicated Goddess Shakti which is also called Mata rani and Vaishnavi. More 8 million prigrims visit this temple every year. One can find the temple of Bhairo Nath near the shrine.
Dera Baba Banda:
One of the major pilgrimages of Sikhs attracts thousands of visitors of different religion as well. This 300 year old property has Gurudwara which was built by Baba Banda Bairaagi who was the favorite soldier of Guru Gobind Singh.
It is situated by the beautiful Karua Jheel. A big fair is held here every year on Mahashivratri. There’s a temple present here which is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Other Places Which You Can Visit Are -
Ardh Kuwanri Cave
Bhairav Nath temple
Best Time to Visit Katra
Being situated near the cold place of Jammu and Kashmir, the weather is generally cold and chilling. The season of summers is the best time visit katra when city is warm and hot comparatively to other season. The best months to visit the place are Many June and July.
How to Reach Katra
You can get busses from Delhi, Gurgaon, Amritsar, and Cahndigarh.
Nearest Railway station if jammu tawi. It is well connected with major cities of the country.
The nearest airport is Jammu airport which is also called Satwari Airport. It is 48 km from Katra. It connects Katra with Delhi, Srinagar, Pune, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Jaipur and Goa.