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Katra Tourism and Katra Travel Guide

Katra History
Everyday of the year throngs of people surge up the steep pathways that cut across the Trikuta hillsides for mile after mile. This show of faith is finely interwoven with the cultural strands of the Indian subcontinent, and these pathwaysKatra have been trod on for many centuries now. Popular belief holds that anybody who walks the Himalayan trail to the goddesses's abode to ask for a boon rarely goes back disappointed. Whatever be it, a new enterprise or a forthcoming examination, marriage or birth, the devout look up to the Mata For blessings and guidance. There are many who journey year after year to pay obeisance regardless of their faith or belief, creed or class, caste or religion.

The Yatra to the holy shrine is as fascinating as the legend associated with it. It goes that thousands of years ago, a comely maiden called "Vaishnavi" have been created by the three lords attained human form and was a devotee of Lord Vishnu. Having taken a vow of celibacy, she spent almost all her life in meditation and prayers. In time she attained enormous spiritual powers and is believed to have extracted an assurance from Lord Rama that he will marry her in Kali-Yug if she persisted in her spiritual quest. This is why she is also known as Adh Kanwari or the "eternal virgin".

Mata Vaishno Devi established an ashram in the foothills of the Trikuta Mountain and began to meditate. As predicted by Lord Rama, her glory started spreading and people began to flock to her ashram to seek her blessings. As time passed, a Tantrik called Gorakh Nath (Demo God), who had a vision of the episode between Lord Rama and Mata KatraVaishno Devi, became curious and wanted to know more about her. Accordingly, he sent his most able disciple `Bhairon Nath' to find out. Bhairon Nath started observing her secretly and realized that despite being a `Sadhvi', she always carried a bow and arrows and was always surrounded by langoor (apes) and a ferocious looking lion. Bhairon, the demon God took a fancy to her. But the Mata spurned his advances and fled to the Himalayas to continue her spiritual quest.

How to Reach:

In order to visit the Holy Shrine of Shivkhori one has to reach village Ransoo. The viallge Ransoo is connected via Road with Jammu, the winter capital of the State Jammu & Kashmir. Jammu city is well connected with the rest of Country via Air, Rail & Road.

By Air: The nearest Airport to reach Shivkhori is located at a distance of 140 KMS in the Jammu City, the winter capital of the Jammu and Kashmir State. Indian Airlines, Jet Airways, Deccan Aviation, Air Sahara and Spicejet operate daily flights for Jammu.

By Train: You can also reach either Jammu or Udhampur by Train. Jammu is well connected to other parts of country through railways. A number of trains all over India are available from Jammu. Railway also runs special Trains during summer and other holidays for comfort of yatries. However the Train is expected to reach Katra by 2007 and hence itKatra will reduce the road distance to be covered by the yatries to reach Shivkhori.

By Road: The village Ransoo is located on the Reasi-Rajouri Road and is well connected with Katra and other cities of Jammu & Kashmir State. Katra is the Nearest Tourist Hub and is famous for the Holy Shrine of Shr Mata Vaishno Devi. Regular Bus Services from all major cities of Northen India are available for Katra and Jammu. Many Volvos buses and other deluxe buses of J&KSRTC as well as other private are available from various parts of Northern India.

Hotels in Katra

Hotel K C Residency
Country Inn and Suites by Carlson
Hotel Asia Vaishno Devi
Hotel Varun
Country Inn and Suites by Carlson Veg
Hotel Asia Sripati
Hotel Bandhu Palace
Hotel Durga Palace
Hotel Jai Maa Inn
Hotel K C Residency
Hotel Subash International
Hotel Surya Palace
Hotel Varun
The Vaishnodevi