The sacred abode of Goddess Vaishno Devi is perched at a height of 5,200 ft. on the holy Trikuta Hills. The cave shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi is regarded as one of the holiest Hindu temples of the country. Katra, 48 kms. from Jammu is the base camp for visiting the holy cave and is well connected by buses. From here one has to trek a distance of 13 kms. to reach the shrine. Obtain a yatra slip from the yatra registration counter at the Tourist Reception Centre at the Katra bus stand, before starting the journey.
The holy pilgrimage formally commences from Darshini Deori, at the northern end of the old Katra bazaar. The journey has to be undertaken by foot, ponies, or on palkis or dolis (palanquins). Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board manages the shrine and the yatra with great efficiency, making the pilgrimage an unforgettable experience. The entire route is paved, well lit, and kept clean. Public utilities, bathrooms, shelters, medical units, and shops are located at regular intervals. The holy cave enshrines three natural rock images (Indian) of the Goddess(Mata) in her three forms – Maha Saraswati, Maha Lakshmi and Maha Kali, which represents creative, preservative and destructive aspects of the divine energy.
According to legends, the darshan of Mata is rendered incomplete without VIsiting the Bhairon Temple, located 2.6 kms. from the main sanctum.