Katra is a small but important town located in the south eastern part of the newly carved out Reasi district in the state of Jammu & Kashmir. It serves as the base camp for Mata Vaishno Devi Yatra and hence it is also referred as Katra Vaishno Devi. National Highway 1C, which is an offshoot of National Highway 1, runs through this town. River Ban Ganga, an important tributary of River Beas, flows close to the town.
Geography of KatraKatra is located at the base of Trikuta Mountain in the lap of the Shiwaik Hills. Its geo-coordinates are 32.98° North latitude and 74.95° East longitude. The town has a hilly terrain and an average elevation of 875 meters (2,474 feet).
Climate in KatraKatra mostly enjoys a sub tropical climate all through the year. The summer season begins in the month of March and ends in July. However, the period between May and July is the hottest. The day temperature during this period may rise up to a maximum of 40°C, but the nights are quite pleasant even then.
Although the months of August and September are officially denoted as the rainy season, the period experiences very little precipitation. However, the humidity is quite high during this period. Cold weather sets in the month of October; but the actual winter season begins in the month of December and lasts until February. The best time to visit Katra is from March to November.
Administration in KatraAs Katra falls under the Reasi District, the administration of the town is controlled from district headquarters Reasi, located at a distance of 26.1 km. The District Controller in charge of Reasi is the senior most administrative officer here. He not only represents the state government in this district, but also is responsible for the welfare of its residence as well as the visitors. In case of necessity, you may contact him through the following numbers:
Contact Details of DC, Reasi
Office Telephone No: 1991-245587
Residential Telephone No: 1991-244121
Fax No: 1991-245586
Email Id: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
Important administrative officers in KatraFollowing are the contact details of few other important officials in Katra:
Mobile No: 9596619995
Email Id: email@example.com
Naib Tehsildar, Katra
Mobile No: 9419256364.
Email Id: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sub Divisional Magistrate, Katra
Office Phone No 1991-232224
Mobile No: 9419174630
Assistant Director Tourism, Katra
Office Phone No: 1991-232005
Mobile No: 9419286640
Katra also has a Municipal Committee to look after its civic administration.
Police in KatraThe police force in Katra works under the guidance of a Senior Superintendent of Police stationed at the district headquarters Reasi. To reach him you may call at the following numbers:
Office Phone No: 1991-245663
Fax No: 1991-245291
Mobile No: 9419127874
However, if you are in Katra and find yourself in any kind of crisis, it is always better to contact the local police first. Following are the phone numbers of two most important police officers in town:
Sub Divisional Police Officer (SDPO), Katra: 1991-232052
Station House Officer (SHO), Katra: 1991-232010
It is to be noted that SHO is actually the officer in charge of Katra Police Station. Therefore, in case of any emergency, it is prudent to contact him first.
Fire Station in KatraKatra also has a fire station located on Jammu Road. In case of any emergency you may reach it through 1991-232451.
Post Office in KatraThe post office in Katra is located close to the main bus stand of the town. It takes around 10 minutes of walk to reach it from there. To know more you may call at 1991-233130.
Banks in KatraKatra also offers excellent banking facilities. Many of the reputed nationalized banks have opened their branches in this town. Here are some of them:
Hotel Mount View
Contact No: 01991-232778
IFSC Code / MICR Code / Branch Code: ALLA0212098 / 182010201 / 212098
Bank of India (BOI)
Hotel Bhawani Paradise
Contact No: 09419162216
IFSC Code / MICR Code / Branch Code: BKID0007913 / NON-MICR / 007913
HDFC Bank Ltd
Shripati Hotels Pvt. Ltd.,
Main Market, Katra
Contact No: 1800 180 4333
IFSC Code / MICR Code / Branch Code: HDFC0002344 / 182240201 / 002344
ICICI Bank LTD
Bhawani Paradise Hotel
Khasra No: 50, Jammu Road,
Contact: 9906096454, 1991-2560599
IFSC Code / MICR Code / Branch Code: ICIC0001408/ 001408 / 180229201
Indian Bank (IB)
Ban Ganga Road
Contact No: 1991232450
IFSC Code / MICR Code / Branch Code: IDIB000K211 / 182019201 / 00K211
Jammu & Kashmir Bank (JK Bank)
C/C ARLI KATRA,
Contact No: 09419163311
IFSC Code / MICR Code / Branch Code: JAKA0CKATRA / 182051204 / CKATRA
Jammu & Kashmir Bank (JK Bank)
Mata Vaishno Devi Bhawan
Contact No: 01991-282228
IFSC Code / MICR Code / Branch Code: JAKA0VASHNO / 182051203 / VASHNO
Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC)
Hoye Malti Palace
Contact No: 01991-232022
IFSC Code / MICR Code / Branch Code: ORBC0100193 / NON-MICR / 100193
Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC)
Mata Vaishno Devi Bhawan
Contact No: 01991-282221
IFSC Code / MICR Code / Branch Code: ORBC0100308 / NON-MICR / 100308
State Bank of India
Contact: IP 340578, 01991-233159, 232956
IFSC Code / MICR Code / Branch Code:: SBIN0004223 / 004223 / 182002301
Contact No: 01991-232021
IFSC Code / MICR Code / Branch Code: UCBA0000282 / 182028201 / 000282
Union Bank of India (UBI)
Hotel Bhawanis Paradise
IFSC Code / MICR Code / Branch Code: UBIN0567124 / NON-MICR / 567124
IFSC Code / MICR Code / Branch Code: YESB0000138 / 182532201 / 000138
Health in KatraKatra has a bock hospital run by the Jammu and Kashmir government. It provides the basic health facilities to the residents and visitors alike. In addition, there is also a 24 hours charitable dispensary run under the aegis of the Vaishno Devi Shrine Board located in Katra.
Business and economy in KatraBusiness and economy in Katra is mostly based on hospitality industry. Since the town acts as the base camp for the famous Vaishno Devi Shrine millions of devotees come here every year. Consequently, different categories of hotels, guest houses, restaurants, dhabas and fast food joints have opened up units here and they together contribute to the economy of the town quite significantly. In addition, many here earn their living by working as guides, travel agents etc. Trading is also an important factor in the economy of the town.
Tourism in Katra
While in Katra, do take time to walk through the town. The main market area offers a tremendous variety of merchandise. Here you will find everything from souvenirs and dry fruits to woolen goods and leather jackets. However, to get the best price, you will have to bargain a bit.
Tourist places near KatraThe trail that leads to the shrine of Vaishno Devi, also hosts a number of beautiful spot. Banganga, Adhkunwari, Sanjichhat, Himkoti, Charanpaduka etc are some of them. In addition to that, Katra has many other places of tourist interest, located around it. Following are few of them:
Aghar Jitto near KatraAghar Jitto is located at a distance of 5 km from Katra. It is the Shrine of Baba Jitto, who was not only a devotee of Mata Vaishno Devi, but also a social reformer who campaigned against the feudal order. A holy spring flows in front of the shrine. It is believed that a dip in this spring helps in safe delivery of children.
Baba Dhansar near KatraBaba Dhansar is located at a distance of 10 km from Katra. This beautiful spot with a thick grove has a huge spring gushing out from the mountainsides. The spring forms a number of waterfalls before it merges into Banganga. The spot also has a naturally formed Shivling; drops of water fall on it all through the year. A fair is held here on every Shivratri day.
Jhajjar Kotli near KatraIt is a beautiful picnic spot located at a distance of 15 km from Katra on the bank of river Jhajjar. Jammu & Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation has a beautiful tourist bungalow here.
Dera Baba Banda near KatraDera Baba Banda is located at a distance of 30 km from Katra on the bank of River Chenub. Baba Banda Bairaagi, one of the favorite saint-soldier of Guru Gobind Singh, spent his last days here. He also had a Gurudwara constructed on the banks of river Chenab. This makes the Gurudwara more than 300 years old. Ashes of the Baba, an arrow given to him by Guru Gobind Singh ji, a huge sword and other weapons used by the Baba are few of the items on display at this Gurudwara.
Shiv Khori near KatraShiv Khori is a naturally formed cave located at a distance of 75 km from Katra. It is almost one kilometer in length and has stalactites and stalagmites dripping milky limestone water from the ceiling. The cave houses a naturally formed 4 ft high Shivling and is second only to Vaishno Devi in religious importance. Every year a major fair is held here on Shivratri day.
Hotels in KatraAs we have already mentioned, accommodation is no problem in Katra. The town has different types of hotels and guest houses to suit different budgets. Among them, the White House, located on Reasi Road, is a five star property. It offers all kinds of facilities like banquet halls, spas, swimming pool, gym, multi cuisine restaurants etc to the guests.
Four Star Hotes in KatraIn addition, Hotel Atrium on the Greens, Hotel Swing High, Hotel Tridev, K. C, Country Inn and Suites etc are some of the highly popular four star hotels in the town. They are all conveniently located and offers excellent services.
Three star hotels in KatraThe town also has many three star and two star hotels. Among the three star hotels we can mention Hotel Vishal, Hotel JMK International, Hotel Sham Palace, Bali Resorts, Hotel Dolphin, Hotel Shahil, AMR Katra, Anurag Hotel etc.
Two star hotels in Katra Hotel Ambika, Hotel Akash Ganga, Hotel Ashirwad, Hotel Atul Regency, Hotel Bali Resort , Hotel Durga Residency, Hari Resort, Hotel Indira Palace, Hotel Jolly Plaza etc are some of the two star hotels located in different parts of the town.
In addition to the above mentioned hotels, the town also has many budget hotels located conveniently in different parts of the town. Some registered trusts also provide free accommodations for those who are not financially strong. Therefore, we see that whatever may be your financial status accommodation should be least of your problems.
JKTDC at KatraJammu and Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation also offers three different categories of accommodations in Katra.
- The Tourist Bungalow Shalimar Park is located near Chintamani Temple. It has a vegetarian restaurant, capable of serving large groups, within the complex.
- Then there is the Tourist Retiring Center located at the main Katra Chowk. It offers double bed rooms, 4 bedded rooms, 8 bedded rooms and hall for 10 persons.
- The Yatri Niwas in Katra is meant for budget class pilgrims. It offers large halls, some of which have beds in them while some are without such facilities. The Yatri Niwas is located at SMVDSB counter no. 2.
How to reach Katra
Katra does not have any airport. Therefore, if you intend to travel by plane, you must first come to Jammu and then travel by road or train to Katra.
Travelling by train to KatraKatra has recently been connected to rest of India through a network of railways. The railway link between Jammu and Udhampur was completed in 2005. In 2012, Pir Panjal railway tunnel was completed and railway link between Jammu and Katra was inaugurated in 2014.
Travelling by road transport to KatraKatra is also connected to Jammu by an excellent road transport system. Buses are run both by Jammu and Kashmir Road Transport Corporation and private players at regular intervals. The bus stand is located closed to Jammu Tawai Railway station. It generally takes two hour to reach Katra from Jammu by bus.
Visitors can also avail taxis and private cars from Jammu. The taxi stand is located close to the bus stand. It generally takes one and half hours to reach Katra by taxi.
If you are traveling by your private vehicle, you must take up National Highway 1A and drive straight to Domel located at a distance of 35 km from Jammu. Here the road branches out into two; one heads for Srinagar and the other for Katra. From this point, Katra is around 15 km away.
Katra at a glanceDistrict: Reasi
State: Jammu and Kashmir
Pin Code: 182301
STD Code: 1991
Elevation: 875 m
Coordinate: 32.98° N 74.95° E