20 Things To Do In Katra

Things To Do In Katra

Katra, a picturesque town nestled in the foothills of the Trikuta Mountains, is best known as the starting point for the pilgrimage to the revered Vaishno Devi Shrine. However, beyond its spiritual significance, Katra offers a plethora of activities and attractions that cater to diverse interests. Whether you are a spiritual seeker, an adventure enthusiast, or someone looking to immerse in the local culture and natural beauty, Katra has something for everyone. In this blog post, we will explore the top things to do in Katra, providing you with a comprehensive guide to make the most of your visit to this enchanting town.

Things To Do In Katra

  1. Visit Vaishno Devi Shrine

The Vaishno Devi Shrine is the main attraction in Katra, drawing millions of devotees every year. Located at an altitude of 5,200 feet, the shrine is dedicated to the Hindu goddess Vaishno Devi. Pilgrims embark on a challenging trek of about 12 kilometers from Katra to reach the holy cave. The trek is a spiritual journey filled with chants of “Jai Mata Di” and a sense of communal devotion.

The path is well-paved and has numerous facilities like food stalls, rest areas, and medical aid. For those unable to walk, options like pony rides, palanquins, and helicopter services are available. The experience of reaching the cave and receiving the darshan (sight) of the goddess is immensely fulfilling. The journey, combined with the serene natural beauty of the Trikuta Mountains, makes this pilgrimage a must-do activity in Katra.

  1. Explore Bhairo Baba Temple

Situated about 2 kilometers further from the Vaishno Devi Shrine, the Bhairo Baba Temple is another significant religious site. According to legend, the pilgrimage to Vaishno Devi is incomplete without visiting this temple. The temple is perched at a higher elevation, and the trek to Bhairo Baba is steeper and more challenging.

However, the effort is worth it. The temple offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. The tranquil environment and the spiritual aura make it a peaceful place to reflect and offer prayers. There are resting points and refreshment stalls along the way, ensuring that pilgrims have the necessary support during their climb. Visiting Bhairo Baba Temple completes the spiritual journey, providing a sense of accomplishment and inner peace.

  1. Enjoy a Ropeway Ride

For a thrilling experience in Katra, the newly introduced ropeway service from Vaishno Devi Bhawan to Bhairo Baba Temple is a must-try. This ropeway not only saves time but also offers breathtaking aerial views of the lush green valleys and rugged mountain terrain. The ride is short, taking only a few minutes, but it provides a unique perspective of the area.

The cable cars are modern and well-maintained, ensuring safety and comfort for passengers. This experience is particularly beneficial for elderly pilgrims or those who find the trek physically challenging. The ropeway ride combines convenience with excitement, making it an enjoyable addition to the pilgrimage.

  1. Trek to Himkoti

Himkoti is a scenic spot located about 2.75 kilometers from the Vaishno Devi Shrine on the new route to Bhawan. It is an ideal place for those who want to enjoy the natural beauty of Katra without the rigor of a long trek. The trek to Himkoti is relatively easier and less crowded, making it perfect for a peaceful walk.

At Himkoti, you will find a breathtaking panoramic view of the hills and valleys. The spot is equipped with facilities like a cafeteria, viewpoint, and resting places. It is a great location to relax, have a meal, and take in the scenic beauty. The calm and serene environment of Himkoti provides a refreshing break from the hustle and bustle of the pilgrimage.

  1. Visit the Nau Devi Cave Temple

The Nau Devi Cave Temple is a fascinating site located about 10 kilometers from Katra. This temple is dedicated to the nine forms of the goddess Durga. The temple is situated inside a natural cave, and visitors must crawl through a narrow opening to enter, adding an element of adventure to the visit.

Inside the cave, you will find idols of the nine goddesses beautifully placed. The atmosphere is peaceful and spiritually uplifting. The surrounding area is picturesque, with a small stream flowing nearby. This lesser-known temple offers a serene and unique experience, away from the more crowded tourist spots. It is an excellent place for meditation and reflection, making it a must-visit for those seeking spiritual solace.

  1. Indulge in Local Shopping

Katra offers a delightful shopping experience, especially for those interested in religious souvenirs and local handicrafts. The main market area is bustling with shops selling a variety of items, including holy beads, pictures of deities, and traditional Kashmiri crafts. Pashmina shawls, wooden carvings, and dry fruits are some of the popular items you can purchase.

The market is also a great place to sample local snacks and sweets. The vibrant atmosphere and friendly vendors make shopping in Katra a pleasant experience. Bargaining is common, so don’t hesitate to negotiate for a good deal. Exploring the market gives you a taste of local culture and allows you to take home a piece of Katra’s rich heritage.

  1. Relax at Jhajjar Kotli

Located about 15 kilometers from Katra, Jhajjar Kotli is a scenic picnic spot ideal for a day trip. The main attraction here is the clear, cool water of the Jhajjar stream, which flows through the area. The lush green surroundings and serene environment make it a perfect place to relax and unwind.

Visitors can enjoy activities like picnicking, wading in the stream, and nature walks. There are also facilities for dining and resting, making it a convenient spot for families and groups. The natural beauty and tranquility of Jhajjar Kotli provide a refreshing escape from the busy town of Katra.

  1. Visit Dera Baba Banda

Dera Baba Banda is a historic and religious site located about 30 kilometers from Katra. It is a revered place for Sikhs and Hindus alike. The main attraction is the samadhi (shrine) of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur, a famous Sikh warrior. The site also houses a Gurudwara and a museum displaying ancient weapons, artifacts, and manuscripts.

The peaceful surroundings and the spiritual ambiance make Dera Baba Banda a significant place of worship and reflection. The Gurudwara offers free meals (langar) to visitors, promoting a sense of community and service. Visiting this site provides a deeper understanding of the region’s cultural and religious heritage.

  1. Experience Local Cuisine

No trip to Katra is complete without savoring the local cuisine. The town offers a variety of vegetarian dishes that are both delicious and unique to the region. Must-try dishes include Rajma Chawal (red kidney beans with rice), Aloo Paratha (stuffed flatbread), and the famous Kashmiri Dum Aloo (potatoes cooked in a rich gravy).

There are numerous eateries and dhabas (roadside restaurants) where you can enjoy these local delicacies. The food is usually prepared with fresh ingredients and traditional spices, offering an authentic taste of Jammu and Kashmir. Exploring the local cuisine is not just about satisfying your taste buds but also about experiencing the region’s culture and traditions through its food.

  1. Attend Aarti at Banganga

Banganga is a sacred spot located at the starting point of the Vaishno Devi trek. According to legend, Goddess Vaishno Devi created the stream by shooting an arrow into the ground to quench her thirst. The water is considered holy, and pilgrims often take a dip before starting their journey.

Attending the evening Aarti (prayer ceremony) at Banganga is a serene and spiritually uplifting experience. The ceremony involves chanting, music, and lighting of lamps, creating a peaceful and devotional atmosphere. Participating in the Aarti provides a moment of reflection and spiritual connection, setting a positive tone for the rest of the pilgrimage.

  1. Explore Shiv Khori Cave

Shiv Khori is a famous cave shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva, located about 70 kilometers from Katra. The cave is known for its natural Shivling and is a significant pilgrimage site for Shiva devotees. The trek to the cave is relatively short but scenic, taking you through beautiful landscapes and small villages.

Inside the cave, you will find a mesmerizing natural formation of the Shivling. The atmosphere is serene, with the sound of water dripping and echoes adding to the mystical experience. The journey to Shiv Khori is an adventure in itself, offering a blend of spiritual fulfillment and natural beauty. It is a must-visit for those interested in exploring unique religious sites.

  1. Visit Patnitop

Patnitop is a picturesque hill station located about 80 kilometers from Katra. It is known for its breathtaking views, lush green meadows, and serene environment. Patnitop offers a perfect escape from the bustling town of Katra, with its tranquil atmosphere and cool climate.

Visitors can enjoy activities like trekking, paragliding, and nature walks. The hill station also has several beautiful picnic spots, making it ideal for a day trip with family and friends. The scenic beauty and peaceful ambiance of Patnitop provide a refreshing break from the pilgrimage and a chance to connect with nature.

  1. Enjoy Sanasar Adventure Activities

Sanasar is a hidden gem located about 20 kilometers from Patnitop and approximately 100 kilometers from Katra. It is known for its adventure activities and stunning landscapes. The region is named after two small local lakes, Sana and Sar, surrounded by dense forests and mountains.

Sanasar offers a variety of adventure sports, including paragliding, rock climbing, abseiling, and trekking. The paragliding experience here is particularly popular, offering thrilling views of the mountains and valleys. For those looking for a quieter experience, the area also has beautiful picnic spots and walking trails. Sanasar is an adventure enthusiast’s paradise, providing an exciting and memorable experience.

  1. Visit Bhaderwah

Bhaderwah, often referred to as “Mini Kashmir,” is a scenic town located about 150 kilometers from Katra. It is known for its breathtaking landscapes, dense forests, and vibrant culture. The town is surrounded by snow-capped mountains and offers numerous outdoor activities.

Visitors can explore the stunning Padri Meadows, trek to the Kailash Kund Lake, or visit the ancient Gupt Ganga Temple. The town is also famous for its local festivals and traditional music. Bhaderwah provides a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural richness, making it a perfect destination for nature lovers and cultural enthusiasts.

  1. Discover Sula Park

Sula Park, located near Katra, is a serene and picturesque park ideal for relaxation and picnics. The park is well-maintained and features beautiful gardens, walking paths, and seating areas. It is a great place for families to spend a peaceful afternoon surrounded by nature.

The park also has a small lake where visitors can enjoy paddle boating. The lush greenery and calm environment make Sula Park a perfect spot for unwinding and enjoying a leisurely day. It is an excellent choice for those looking for a quiet retreat away from the hustle and bustle of the town.

  1. Explore Baba Dhansar

Baba Dhansar is a beautiful and lesser-known pilgrimage site located about 15 kilometers from Katra. The site features a stunning natural spring and a small cave temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The area is surrounded by dense forests and offers a tranquil environment for visitors.

According to legend, Baba Dhansar, a devotee of Lord Shiva, discovered the spring and the cave. The water from the spring is believed to have healing properties. The site is also known for its annual fair, attracting pilgrims and tourists alike. Baba Dhansar is a hidden gem, offering a serene and spiritual experience amidst nature.

  1. Visit Agar Jitoo

Agar Jitoo is a small village located about 6 kilometers from Katra, known for its religious significance and natural beauty. The village is named after the legendary farmer Baba Jitto, who is revered for his devotion and sacrifice. A temple dedicated to Baba Jitto is the main attraction here.

The village offers a peaceful environment with picturesque views of the surrounding hills and fields. It is an excellent place for a short trip to learn about local legends and enjoy the scenic beauty. The simplicity and charm of Agar Jitoo provide a refreshing experience, connecting visitors with the local culture and traditions.

  1. Relax at Sulla Park Hot Springs

Sulla Park Hot Springs, located near Katra, are natural hot springs known for their therapeutic properties. The hot springs are believed to have healing effects on various ailments, including skin and joint issues. The park is well-maintained and offers facilities for visitors to relax and enjoy the warm, mineral-rich waters.

The surrounding area is serene and picturesque, making it an ideal spot for relaxation and rejuvenation. Visitors can soak in the hot springs, enjoy the natural beauty, and experience a sense of calm and wellness. Sulla Park Hot Springs provide a unique and soothing experience, perfect for those looking to unwind.

  1. Experience Local Festivals

Katra is known for its vibrant local festivals, which offer a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of the region. Some of the popular festivals include Navratri, Lohri, and Baisakhi. During these festivals, the town comes alive with colorful decorations, traditional music, and dance performances.

Visitors can participate in the festivities, enjoy local delicacies, and witness traditional rituals. The festive atmosphere provides a unique opportunity to experience the local culture and traditions up close. Attending these festivals adds a special touch to your visit, making it more memorable and culturally enriching.

  1. Visit the Aghar Jitto Shrine

The Aghar Jitto Shrine is another significant religious site near Katra, dedicated to Baba Jitto. It is located about 6 kilometers from the town and is surrounded by scenic beauty. The shrine is a place of worship and a symbol of devotion and sacrifice.

The site is peaceful and offers a tranquil environment for reflection and prayer. Visitors can learn about the legend of Baba Jitto and his unwavering faith. The surrounding area is also ideal for a leisurely walk, offering picturesque views of the hills and valleys. The Aghar Jitto Shrine provides a serene and spiritually uplifting experience.


Katra is more than just a pilgrimage destination; it is a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be discovered. From the spiritual journey to Vaishno Devi Shrine and Bhairo Baba Temple to the adventurous treks and serene spots like Himkoti and Jhajjar Kotli, Katra offers a diverse range of activities. The town’s rich cultural heritage, vibrant local festivals, and delectable cuisine further add to its charm. Whether you are seeking spiritual solace, natural beauty, or cultural immersion, Katra has something to offer. Plan your trip with our guide to the top things to do in Katra and embark on a memorable journey that will leave you enriched and inspired.

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