The Vaishno Devi Temple is one of the famous pilgrim centres in India and is the second most sought after temple to visit. The holy abode of Mata Rani or Vaishno Devi is situated at an altitude of 5200 feet and it is popularly believed that the goddess resides in a holy cave of the three peaked Trikuta Mountain.
An interesting fact is that there is no idol of the goddess inside the temple, but there are three natural rock formations called the Pindies, that are symbolic of her three forms - Maha Kali, Mata Saraswati and Maha Lakshmi. A large number of visitors undertake a trek of around 12 kilometres from the base camp - Katra to reach the shrine. Apart from walking there are also other ways by which devotees can reach the temple, like ponies, horses, battery cars and palanquins. A visit to the temple is a must if you come to Katra.
Bhairon Temple is another must visit when you embark on a pilgrimage to the Vaishno Devi Temple. The Bhairon Temple or Mandir is located at a distance of around 1.42 kilometres at an adjacent hill of the Vaishno Devi temple. As per the mythology, Bhairon Nath, a sage was killed by Vaishno Devi and when he asked for forgiveness from the goddess, he was given a boon to be the last link of the pilgrimage.
No visit to the Vaishno Devi temple is complete without a stopover at the Bhairon Temple. It is said that the temple was established where the head of the sage fell. The temple requires a steep climb quite similar to the Vaishno Devi Mandir which can be undertaken in ponies, horses and palkis.
Sanji Chhat is located 3.25 kilometers from Adhkunwari. It is a beautiful plateau and one can get a picturesque view of the Himalayas from this place. The helipad is also located here.
One can visit the place to get wonderful clips of the mighty mountains.
Ardhkuwari Temple is located half way to the holy shrine of Vaishno Devi. There is a 15 feet long cave and the Ardh Devi Shrine is situated inside the cave. The cave is narrow but popular saying goes that one can enter the cave if Goddess bestows mercy on them. The legend goes that Vaishno Devi meditated inside this cave for nine months and escaped from the place after being chased by the sage Bhairav.
The cave is uniquely shaped and the place is also called by the name 'Hathimathha'. The easiest way to reach here is via helicopter and horses apart from walking.
Baba Dhansar Temple is situated around 15 kilometres away from Katra. The place is famous for its scenic beauty. One can witness multiple waterfalls here from a rock, offering a pleasant sight. These falls eventually join the Chenab river. There is also a lake nearby to explore which is said to fulfil people's wishes. One can easily reach the place via cab from Katra.
The Bahu Fort is a sought after tourist destination in the city of Jammu. Situated on the left bank of the river Tawi, the fort is believed to be three thousand years old. There is a beautiful garden and also a park called " Bagh-e-Bahu" around the fort. The fort also has religious significance owing to the temple situated inside the fort which the local people fondly calls as "Bave Kali Mata Temple".
The place is increasingly becoming popular owing to the large underground aquarium that displays 400 varieties of freshwater and marine fish. Do visit the place for an amazing above and underground experience.
River rafting on Chenab is a thrilling experience for a lifetime with river rafting on the mighty river Chenab. River rafting is increasingly getting popular in India as an adventure sport and the tourism department of Jammu promotes the same. White Water Rafting in the mighty river Chenab will give you the ultimate adrenaline rush.
River Rafting at Raesi on the Chenab river is a must if adventure tourism is in your list in Katra.
Patnitop is an acclaimed tourist destination located in the Udhampur district of Jammu and Kashmir. Renowned for natural splendour, one can enjoy the bliss of nature to the fullest here. One can experience the beauty of mother nature by involving in various activities like, nature walks through the woods, paragliding which happens at Dawariyai, situated on Patnitop-Sanasar Road and also at Nathatop, at a distance of 11 kilometres from Patnitop.
If you want to witness gorgeous flowers then a visit to the Kud Park is recommended. Patnitop is an ideal place to have hands on experience in skiing during winter months.
Sanasar Lake is a nature lover's paradise. The lake is perfect for your favorite snaps. The line of the dense forest of cedar along with lush green meadows strikes a harmonious chord with the lake and adds up to the beauty of the place.
One can involve in various adventure sports here clubbed under three categories- air, water and land. The sports are rock climbing, para sailing, paragliding, bungee, skydiving, abseiling and hot-air balloons for air.
Don't forget to carry your camping equipment as there are camping zones too to let you relax in the lap of nature.
Jammu city, located on the banks of the Tawi river is the winter capital of the state of Jammu and Kashmir and a place of importance. Jammu is a sought after destination among tourists worldwide. The city is beautiful and has a lot of attractive temples and sightseeing points. It has a charming ambience and invites people to return repeatedly for a pleasant experience.
Popular tourist destinations around Jammu are- Raghunath Mandir, Bawey Wali Mata Temple, Ranbireshwar Temple, Mahamaya Temple, Peer Kho Cave Temple and Panchbakhtar Temple, Amar Mahal, Dogra Art Museum, Bahu fort etc.
Mansar Lake is a famous lake due to its similarity with Manasarovar, a holy site for the Hindus. The gorgeous lake is surrounded by hills and forest which is about one mile in length and half a mile in width.
Legendary tales surrounding the lake dates back to the Mahabharata times. Stories depict that the lake is a tunnel which was done by Babar Vahan, in order to procure 'Mani' from Sesh Nag to save his father, Arjun.
The lake and its vicinity are well maintained by the government of Jammu and Kashmir. Beautiful walkway welcomes the tourists to enjoy the beauty of the surrounding nature. The temple of Sesh Nag, is located on the banks of the lake and is said to bring fortune to the newly wed couples who successfully complete three circles around the lake and seek blessings from the Sesh Nag thereafter. There are other temples, of Durga, Narasimha and Parvati Shiva.
One added blessing is the wildlife sanctuary located in close proximity to the lake and provides awesome scope for wild life species like Neelgai and spotted deer. Do come to Mansar Lake, located at a distance of 62 kilometres from Katra.