Katra, Jammu and Kashmir

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This article is about a town in Jammu and Kashmir. For other uses, see Katra.
Katra
कटरा
temple town
Katra town1.JPG
Katra is located in Jammu and Kashmir
Katra
Katra
Location in Jammu and Kashmir, India
Coordinates: 32°59′N 74°57′E / 32.98°N 74.95°E / 32.98; 74.95Coordinates: 32°59′N 74°57′E / 32.98°N 74.95°E / 32.98; 74.95
Country  India
State Jammu and Kashmir
District Udhampur
Elevation 754 m (2,474 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Total 37,569
Languages
 • Official Hindi
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
Literacy 70 %%

Katra or Katra Vaishno Devi, as it is popularly known, is a small town in Reasi district of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir situated in the foothills of the Trikuta Mountains, where the holy shrine of Vaishno Devi is located. It is located 42 km from the city of Jammu. Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University, one of the leading technical universities of India, is also located here.

Geography[edit]

Katra is located at 32°59′N 74°57′E / 32.98°N 74.95°E / 32.98; 74.95.[1] It has an average elevation of 754 metres (2,474 feet). There also been reports of possible oil reserves in the area[2]

Demographics[edit]

As of 2011 India census,[3] Katra along with Ban-Ganga had a population of 37569. Males constitute 52% of the population and females 48%. Katra has an average literacy rate of 70%, higher than the national average of 59.%: male literacy is 77%, and female literacy is 65%. In Katra, 14% of the population is under 6 years of age.

Tourism[edit]

Katra serves as the base camp for pilgrims who visit Vaishno Devi. It has a thriving tourism industry that offers plenty of hotels, guest houses, restaurants, dhabas, fast-food joints that fit all kinds of budgets. Free accommodation is provided by some registered trusts in the form of Sarais for the poor. The number of pilgrims that visit the shrine every year has increased from 1.4 million in 1986 to 8.2 million in 2009. Over the years, a lot has changed, but one should not miss the opportunity to walk through the main bazaar (market) for buying (do not forget/hesitate to negotiate a bit) souvenirs, dryfruits, woolen garments, hosiery, leather jackets, etc.

Panoramic view of Katra, seen from Vaishno Devi

To reach Vaishno Devi temple the pilgrims have to register at the Katra before starting the trek. By registering, the pilgrims get accidental insurance while on the trek for 1 lakh INR. It is a trek of 14  km.

There is another trek (1.5 km) from Vaishno Devi temple for Baba Bhaironnath. It is said that the pilgrimage is not complete until you visit this temple at last. The scenery throughout the trek is picturesque.

Environment-friendly auto rickshaws and helicopter services also have started now-a-days to make the journey a pleasant one.

Katra Railway Station, Vaishno Devi

Transport[edit]

Town has been connected by the roads and state highways since a long time but recently it has also been connected by Indian Railways. Jammu Udhampur Srinagar Baramulla Railway Link connects the Katra railway station of Northern Railways to the rest of Indian railways network. It had been inaugurated by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 4 ,2014.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda, J&K Governor N.N. Vohra and State Chief Minister Omar Abdullah during the function to flag off the first train to Udhampur, at Katra Railway Station on July 4 2014

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]