|Vaishno Devi Yatra Parchi Counter - Katra|
It's now that you have refreshed at the Hotels in Katra and planning to move further for the Yatra. Before starting the onward journey it is essential that each of the pilgrims should register himself for the Vaishno Mata Yatra. The registration process is carried out near the Katra bus stand. The Shrine Board of Mata Vaishno has arranged a fully computerized "Yatra Registration Center (YRC)" which is entitled to register each and every pilgrim without any exception. According to the Shrine Board Authority any pilgrim cannot proceed for the Yatra without a valid and authentic Yatra Slip/Parchi. This Yatra Slip is given to each visitor FREE of cost from the YRC of the Shrine Board.
Importance of Yatra Parchi
Yatra parchi or registration slip is an important document during the Vaishno Mata darshan. It acts as a documentary permission of SMVDSB that the person/s can precede towards the Bhawan. So the pilgrims should always keep their slip with themselves properly.
Devotees can also book their advanced registration slip from the website of Shrine Board. The registration slip is given free of cost at YRC - Katra but if you make an online booking for the slip it will cost you ` 50 for each person, which is beneficial during the rush hours.
In order to receive it, the visitor has to register his/her name along with the total number of companions. One Yatra Parchi can contain a maximum of 9 family members. If you have more members then take another slip. For those people who have arrived in large groups can take separate registration slips for each family.
Once you reach the Bhawan then Mata's Darshan is allowed in groups. You will need the Yatra parchi to avail your group number from the check-post at the Bhawan. So do not misplace the registration slip as you will be turned back without darshan and other disciplinary actions might be taken by the order of Shrine Board.
Checklist before Yatra
For a safe, happy and comfortable trekking it is suggested that a devotee should check the list below before proceeding for the Yatra.
- Get your Free Yatra Parchi from the counter of SMVDSB and confirm that it has the name of your family/group head. The slip should have the total number of adults and children in the group.
- If you have to book a hotel or yatri niwas then make sure you have done it from the Enquiry and Reservation counter at Katra, before proceeding further.
- Video cameras, mobile phones and other electronic items are not allowed in the Yatra. So make a safe arrangement for them either at your hotel in Katra or leave it with your luggage in the cloak rooms (at your own risk).
- You can see small sticks called 'lathi' at the shops on your both sides. It can be your best companion for moving up the hills towards Mata Bhawan. People can also purchase red color ribbon having 'Jai Mata Di' written on them, and tie it around their wrists or forehead.
Shops at katra
- Confirm the rates of Porters, Palki or Ponies before you began to hire them. Note down their registration card numbers so that you can easily find them out in case of any problem. They have been given the official rates and pilgrims should pay accordingly.
Rates of Palkis and Ponies at Vaishno Devi *
* The rates are just for the information of devotees, as per the site of SMVDSB
- The distance between Katra to Vaishno Mata Bhawan is approximately 13 Km. and an extra 1.5 Km. for Bharion Ghati. So Yatris are advised to leave all the unnecessary clothes and luggage at Katra, before starting the trekking. Most of the lodges and hotels in Katra have an arrangement of the cloak rooms for the devotees. There is also a free of cost cloak room arranged by the Shrine Board of Mata Vaishno at Katra, which can be used by the pilgrims to keep their valuable belongings safely. There is also no need to carry any food or blankets, as all of these are available upwards and will increase your load if carried. The shrine board has also made adequate arrangements of drinking water all through the way.
Tips to Remember
- During the days of Navratra, weekends, holidays and the New Year, there is a huge rush at the Yatra Parchi Counter in Katra. The registration lines are long and a devotee might have to spend a couple of hours before he gets the parchi. Devotees who have received the 'Call of Mata' and you are visiting during the rush days then it is advisable that book your Yatra Parchi from the official site of Shrine Board.
- The validity of a registration slip expires if you are unable to cross the First Check-Post at Banganga within 6 hours of registration at the YRC. The check-post is around 1.5 Km. from the YRC-Katra. So Yatris should plan accordingly for their holy trip. If you are unable to reach the check-post within 6 hours then the registration slip is cancelled and you will have to re-issue the same from the YRC-Katra.
- The rates of palki and ponies mentioned above are the official rates and subject to change. Pilgrims are advised to pay accordingly and note the registration number of ponies or palki before hiring them. If you are unable to walk the stretch of 12-13 Km. then it is good to book your palki or pony before beginning the journey. Booking them in the mid way can be tedious and might entertain extra charges. Pilgrims can book palki from the assistance counter of the shrine board at the Katra bus stand, whereas book your ponies from the Chetak Bhawan near the Darshani Darwaza.
- There is no need to purchase any prashad from the shops at Katra while going for the darshan, as you will not be allowed to take it inside the Bhawan due to security reasons. There is a special Prashad counter near the Bhawan from where you can take prashad at effective rates.
- Devotees who wish to walk through the way are advised to take small sticks from the shop. It might look odd but once you start trekking, the stick acts as your best companion and you will complete the holy trip easily with the grace of Mata Vaishno.
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