Suggestions to Yatris
Just put your first step forward and Meri Maiya takes you for her Darshan, and after your darshan I am sure you will be saying how come it was so easy.
How to reach Meri Maiya Darbar for Meri Maiya Darshan.....
Meri Maiya Darbar
Meri Maiya Darbar is 61 Kilometers North of Jammu, India at a height of 5200 feet from the sea level, on the Trikuta mountains. Meri Maiya Vaishnodevi Darbar (Cave Shrine), has been a beacon of faith and fulfillment for millions of devotees since time immemorial. Millions of Yatris travel from all parts of the world, to visit Meri Maiya Darbar and to have HER blessings. Its been rightly said, a person who visits Meri Maiya Darbar, always prays to Meri Maiya to call him / her again and again.
How to reach Meri Maiya Darbar
Its very easy to reach Meri Maiya Darbar. Jammu is the nearest Airport and also the nearest Railway station, just 48 Kilometers from Katra, though there is a new Railway Station under construction at Katra now. Jammu is also the terminal point of a large number of Inter State Bus Services from all over India.
There are daily flights from Delhi and Srinagar to Jammu. The flights are very well connected to all major cities of India, with connecting flights originating from the cities to Delhi and then to Jammu. You can check the schedules of Jet Airways and Indian Airlines on Meri Maiya site, in the Yatra / Tayari section.
Jammu is also very well connected with Railways covering all the stations of India. If there is no direct trains to Jammu, you will surely have Trains connecting from your place of origin to Jammu. The New Railway Station under construction at Katra would further solve the problem of reaching Meri Maiya Darbar. You can check schedules of Indian Railways on Meri Maiya site, in the Yatra / Tayari section.
Jammu to Katra
There are several buses from Jammu to Katra at an interval of just 10 minutes. Buses start from Jammu Main Bus Stand between 5.30 a.m. to very well past night. Also in the periods of rush, additional buses are deployed for Meri Maiya yatris convenience.
Taxis services are also available for hire between Jammu and Katra. These can be hired from the Jammu Airport, Jammu Railway Station and the Tourist Reception Centre at Jammu. It hardly takes one and half hour to reach Katra which is just 48 kms by bus and taxis from Jammu.
Also number of travel agencies run conducted tours to Katra regularly from Delhi and other major cities in northern and central India. You will also find many trusts who conduct free tours for Meri Maiya Darshan from all over India.
Katra to Meri Maiya Darbar
Meri Maiya Darbar, is 14 kms from Katra. From here you can hire pithus to carry your luggage and children's and start walking on foot or hire pony, or palkhy for the Darshan of our Beloved Meri Maiya
Meri Maiya Vaishnodevi has revealed herself in the form of Pindis. Concentrate on the Pindis when you enter the holy cave for darshan. You can also take holy Ganga water that flows in the holy cave.
The yatra from Katra to Bhavan is 14 km long. Though you can travel 2 kms from Katra bus stand to Banganga by rickshaw so you don't have to walk these 2 kms. The entire route is tiled and well illuminated. Drinking water, tea, coffee cold drinks and snacks are available 24 Hours.
Please obtain yatra slip from the authorised counter at Bus Stand Katra and not from anywhere else. Without the yatra slip you will not be allowed to proceed further from the check post situated at Ban Ganga which is 400 mts from the main gate.
If you plan to stay at Bhavan you can book rooms available at Adhkuwari, Sanjichat and Bhavan, the booking of which is only made at Katra on payment of rent fixed by Meri Maiya Vaishno Devi Shrine Board. You can also stay free at Dharamshalas at Bhavan.
For yatra canvas shoes, bamboo sticks, caps, cotton bags and Raincoats are available on hire.
Obtain an official receipt for all amounts paid to Meri Maiya Vaishno Devi Shrine Board or private shops.
Rate list is available for all the items sold or available or given on hire. Insist on checking the rate list before you pay.
Take the services of only registered pittus, horses or palki. During their services keep their tokens with you.
To call for your missing co-members you can take free services of announcement centers of Meri Maiya Vaishno Devi Shrine Board at Katra, Banganga, Adhkuwari and Bhavan.
For donations use only donation boxes kept by Meri Maiya Vaishno Devi Shrine Board or insist for an official receipt whenever you give donations at the rest houses dharamshalas situated at Adhkuwari, Sanjhichat and Bhavan.
While climbing up or coming down during yatra do not tire yourself by going through stairs opt for the main path, which is safe and well illuminated at night.
Do not leave your luggage or valuables with unknown people or unguarded around Bhavan or bathing ghats. You can take the services of free cloakrooms available at Bhavan.
Avoid eating prasad given by unknown persons.
To maintain the sacredness of the yatra, do not gamble, play cards, smoke eat pan or consume alcohol.
Do not disfigure information boards or walls on the path. Throw waste only in dustbins provided. Do not litter. Toilet facilities are provided at many places throughout the yatra way.
Medical and first aid facilities are available at Katra, Banganga, Adhkuwari Sanjhichat and Bhavan. A 24-hour doctor facility is also available at Katra, Adhkuwari and Bhavan.
Clothing: During rainy season in summer light woolens are advised. Rests of the year heavy woolens are must. Ample blankets are available from stores at Adhkuwari Sanjichat and Bhavan free of rent but on paying a refundable deposit of Rs.100/- per blanket.
Please carry high calorie eatables like chocolates or fruits etc... with you
Please drink plenty of Liquids on your way to avoid tiredness.
Please take your group numbers from the counter at the end of the bazaar at bhavan. This group numbers are assigned to a group of 200 yatris and the numbers are announced for darshan. Please listen to announcement of your group numbers after which only, you are allowed for the Darshan of Meri Maiya
Please carry necessary medicines with you especially for Fever, Cold, Pain Killer, Vomiting, Loose motions, Lip guard, Cold Syrup, etc... or you can avail the facility of medicines available at Bhavan from "Baba Medicals" and also doctor facility just opposite gate no: 3, or just next to the medical shop.
Even though it is very cold in the months of January and February, but the rush for Meri Maiya darshan is less.
Prasad is available at Bhavan, or else you can carry with you. Meri Maiya ki Chunri is also availbale at Bhavan.
If you intend to stay overnight at Bhavan, which I would definitely suggest, you can book your rooms for bhavan from Meri Maiya Vaishnodevi Shrine Board at Katra near Petrol pump.
Please carry woolen and warm clothes, you may require them, even in the months of April or May
Please take enough medicines and warm clothes if you are accompanying a child. Please don't ignore his / her necessities.
Banks facility is also available at Bhavan. There are two banks .i.e. Jammu & Kashmir Bank and Oriental Bank of Commerce for your convenience.
Please be together, and if you happen to loose sight of someone, Please immediately take the announcements facility at gate no: 1.
Though it is difficult to find rooms at bhavan, you can avail of other places at bhavan for sleeping, blankets, food, toilets, cloak rooms etc...
Meri Maiya darshan are closed for Aarti from 6.00 am to 8.30 am and 6.00 pm to 8.30 pm only.
Cloak rooms for your valuables are available at bhavan in room no: 11, 12, and 14.
Blankets are available at Bhavan in room no: 7, 20, 35
Please carry 4 to 5 packets of Bread or 4 to 5 dozens of Banana with you if you are traveling by your own car, or taxi, or by a bus as you would find many monkeys on your way from Jammu to Katra and would feel good if you feed them on your way.
Please try to reach Katra after having Meri Maiya Darshan before 8.00 p.m. as the transportation systems close at 8.00 p.m. and you may have to walk 2 K.Ms more from Katra to Bus Stand Katra.
So you are ready to go.
These are just few of the things I found it to be necessary, if you feel any points is being left, or can be elaborated, Please email me immediately to help other Meri Maiya Bhakts.
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