[Courtsey : Shri Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, Katra (J&K) India]
- The most important activity that a pilgrim has to undertake on reaching Katra is getting registered for the Yatra. Yatra Registeration is carried out at the Yatri Registeration centre (YRC) near the Bus Stand, Katra.
- It is necessary to obtain Yatra Parchi (Entry Pass) from Katra. Pilgrims are not allowed to proceed beyond Parchi Check Counter at Banganga.
- All pilgrims without exception are required to register themselves before undertaking the Yatra.
From where to get Yatra Parchi (Entry Pass)
- YRC - The Shrine Board operates a Tourism Reception Centre at Katra Bus Stand. Yatra Parchi (Entry Pass) can be obtained free of cost from Yatra Registration Counter (YRC) of this Tourism Information Centre.
- YRC - II This Registration Couter is near the second bus stand situated nearly one km away from the main Yatra counter on Udhampur road. This counter has also been authorized to issue Yatra slips for large yatra groups (say one bus load or more) traveling as a single group.
- Yatra Registeration is also possible online. Please visit The official Website of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board.
Yatra Registration - Obtaining a Yatra Parchi (Entry Pass)
- Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board which is the only STATUTORY & LEGAL authority for the purpose.
- No other organization, private or public is authorized to issue the Yatra slip.
- The registration process is entirely FREE and is fully computerized.
- The registered yatris are issued a Yatra Slip, free of cost.
- This process is carried out at the Yatra Registration Counter, popularly known as (YRC), situated at Bus stand, Katra.
- Under this, a visitor has to register his name along with the number of companions and he is issued a computerized Slip (Yatra slip/Parchi) which is the documentary permission for him to proceed on his journey to the main Shrine.
- Yatri is required to cross the first Check Post located at Banganga (around 1.5 kilometers from the YRC) within 6 hours of the issue of the slip, failing which his slip is confiscated at the Check Post and he is required to take a fresh slip altogether.
- Yatra Registration Counter is open from 6 A.M. in the morning to 10 P.M. in the evening.
- The entire Yatra Registration process is fully computerized, thus making it convenient, efficient and smooth.
- Please note that yatries who proceed without this slip/Parchi shall be turned back from Banganga check post and not allowed to proceed further.
- In the rare case of any yatri being found at Bhawan/en-route without the yatra slip, he/she shall not only be turned back but disciplinary action shall also be taken against him/her.
- One Yatra Slip is issued for a maximum of 9 family members.
- For more members, more than one Yatra slip can be taken. In case of yatries in large groups, a separate yatra Slip should be taken for each family.
The area near the YRC-II is used for idle parking of travel and luxury coaches and for pilgrims arriving through these coaches, it is more convenient to obtain the Parchi from YRC-II.
Waiting Slip: The maximum numbers of yatries who can have Darshans in a single day are about 23,000-24,000.
During the peak rush periods having yatries in excess of this number, the yatries are asked to wait at Katra itself.
No yatra slips are issued during waiting. Instead red/pink waiting slips are issued.
These have to be validated at the YRC, the following morning or whenever “Waiting” is called off.
Then the waiting slips are taken back and the original yatra slips are issued following which yatries can begin the Holy journey.
The phenomenon of waiting is inconvenient but is necessary due to the geographical limitation of the Holy Hill.
Yatries should check out the yatra status from http://www.maavaishnodevi.org before embarking on the yatra.
Weekends during May, June and the second half of December or any other block of school/college/office holidays invariably witness heavy rush thereby necessitating “Waiting”.
Importance of Yatra Parchi (Entry Pass)
- The slip must be presented at Banganga Parchi Check Counter (Check Post) within 6 hrs of being issued.
- Without an authentic Yatra Parchi, crossing Banganga will not be allowed.
- This is necessary to regualte the Yatra at Bhawan and also on the track.
- When you reach the Vaishno Ji Darbar (Bhawan)/Trikut Dham, just below the shrine, you will need to present the Yatra Parchi to get assigned a place in 'the queue of devotees' waiting to go upto the Shrine
- The Holy Pindies are situated in a narrow Cave, group visits for Darshans are not possible. The system of Darshans is through a continuously moving queue, round the clock. Only a limited number of pilgrims can have Darshans everyday.
- Yatra Parchi is also to be preserved as the same covers devotee with an issurance cover against any untoward casualty due to accidents.
- Obtaining a Group Number
The most important role of the slip is at Bhawan, where the slip is revalidated and used to issue a group number. The group number is allotted at the Yatra Slip Counter located on the left hand side immediately after the luggage check post. This group number would then determine the sequence in which the yatries would have the Holy Darshan and the time for which they would have to wait before obtaining Darshans.
Due to the narrowness of the Cave and restriction on the number of people being able to pray inside the Cave at any given point of time, Darshans are regulated through a continuously moving queue. Yatries are grouped into batches of 200 each depending on their time of arrival at the grouping counter at Bhawan and each group is called one by one to enter into the Darshan Queue.
The group which is having Darshans at any given point of time is called the current group and the number of groups in between the current group and the group number allotted to the yatri will determine the time for which the yatries shall have to wait before having Darshans. On ordinary days or days of moderate rush, yatries can have Darshans almost immediately after reaching Bhawan. However, on days of heavy rush, especially during the peak months, one may have to wake for 9-10 hours before one’s group number is called out for Darshans.
In any case, irrespective of the rush, one must obtain the group number immediately after reaching Bhawan and only then proceed to carry out any other task.
Insurance of pilgrim on Yatra Parchi
Yatra Parchi is also to be preserved as the same covers devotee with an issurance cover against any untoward casualty due to accidents. All Devotees, once they get registered at the YRC for their trek are automatically and compulsorily insured against any accidental causality (a rare possibility) on their way to the Holy Shrine. This is a free insurance to all those who undertake this holy pilgrimage. The insurance is valid only in case of accidental deaths. For cases of natural deaths including heart attacks, this insurance package is not applicable.
- Insurance for minor Rs. 25000
- Insurance for major Rs 100000
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