Nestled in foothills of the Trikuta Mountains in the Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir, the temple town of Katra, rather famously known as Katra Vaishno Devi, is a devoted pilgrimage site of the deity Vaishno Devi. Katra, situated 42 kilometres from Jammu city, rests at an elevation of 875 metres above the sea level. This region is one of the most visited pilgrimage sites in India with devotees coming in from all over the country. Apart from the spiritual and religious sites, Katra also has scenic spots providing a visual treat for your eyes and fresh air for your lungs. An ideal holiday combining a spiritual getaway with a relaxing and rejuvenating time in the misty mountains, Katra proves to be a delightful destination. We list here 5 of the best places in Katra you must visit for experiencing an incredible holiday.
1. Sanji Chhat
A lovely spot situated about 3 kilometres from the Adhkunwari region, Sanjichhat provides a mesmerizing view of glorious valleys and snow-capped Himalayan peaks. Lying on the route towards the shrine of Vaishno Devi, this plateau is the highest point of the track to the shrine and also holds a newly constructed helipad where chopper services are provided to go back and forth between Katra and Sanjhichhat. The point of the end of the uphill climb, Sanjhichhat is truly a lovely sight with a pleasant ambiance.
Offering a sweeping view of an entire valley, the site of Himkoti is located about 2.7 kilometres from Adhkunwari. Acclaimed for the picturesque views from here, this site doesn’t carry any religious significance but is just an enchanting place to be in order to relax and take in nature’s raw splendor. Adorned with several food stalls, an artificial pond, garden and a meditation centre, one can easily enjoy this site at leisure.
A tributary of the Beas river, Banganga river originates from the Dhauladhar Himalayan range and flows through the Kangra Valley in Himachal Pradesh. Located right after the Yatra Parchi Check Post, this site holds religious significance and is a crucial stop for the pilgrims, who on the way to the Vaishno Devi shrine, stop here for a purifying bath as the water of this river is held sacred. Also Banganga proves to be a lovely spot to watch as the cold water of the river flows amidst the dense vegetation of the mountains.
4. Jhajjar Kotli
Located 15 kilometres from the town of Katra, Jhajjar Kotli rests on the banks of river Jhajjar on the National Highway 1A leading towards Srinagar. The pristine cold water of Jhajjar surrounded by the beautiful valleys and views of the white dazzling peaks of the Himalayas makes this a popular picnic spot, ideal for a refreshing time.
5. Mantalai Lake
One of the most enchanting valleys in the state, Parvati valley is home to the Mantalai Lake. About 61 kilometres from Katra, this region is known for its exquisite charm with all-encompassing lush green mountain ranges, the far-away peaks of snow-covered summits, the silent valley with the serene water of the lake, this sight is a heart-catching region. One of the most beautiful places during the day as well as night time, Mantalai lake is a sight to behold. Surrounded by the Deodar trees of the lush forest, this site is of religious significance in Hindu mythology, as it is believed to be the place where Lord Shiva wed Goddess Parvati.
Just five of many wondrous sights, these places show the non-spiritual side of Katra in Jammu and Kashmir. Hailed as a perfect pilgrimage sight, Katra is also a region of extreme beauty owing to its location in the foothills of the majestic Himalayan mountains.
Some More Tourist Destinations In Jammu and Kashmir: