The Yatra begins at Katra and pilgrims have to cover 13 kms of terrain on foot to reach the Darbar. Hilly track between Katra and Bhawan contains number of ancient temples and view-points for rest and enjoy natural beauty. One kilometer away from Katra, you would find Banganga, place where Mata quenched her thirst and 1 Km away from Katra where one can have holy bath in the Banganga and have a Langer/Parshad (free food) run by famous T-series Industries. The second stop Charanpadhuka is about 2.5 Kms away from Banganga. It is believed that Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji took rest while moving towards the Trikuta Hills. The place contains the foot prints of Goddess, and thus the place is named Charanpadhuka Temple. The third stop Adkuwari is about 3 Kms from Charanpadhuka. Here one can stay for night as half of the journey is over. At Adkuwari the devotees can have Darshan of Adkuwari Temple and Gerbhjoon (an ancient Cave of about 20 feet). It is believed that Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji hide herself from Bairon Nath in this cave for 9 months.
After a steep height of about 4 Kms from Adkuwari the fourth and last stop is Sanjichat. The Sanjichat is the highest place in the track. One can enjoy the aerial view of Katra, Udhampur, Reasi and Jammu. From Sanjichat about 2.5 Kms downhill track led to Bhawan the holy Shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi. About 0.5 Kms from Bhawan on the Bahawan-Sanjichat track an about 2 Kms link track lead to the Bairon Nath temple. The track is further linked with Sanjichat though dense forest containing different species of wild life such as Langoor, Monkeys and other wild birds. Yatris are advised to obtain a yatra slip only from the Yatra Registration Counter at the Tourism Reception Centre, Katra Bus Stand and nowhere else. Without an authentic yatra slip, crossing of Banganga check post will not be allowed. The Yatra Slip is absolutely free but is necessary to commence the Yatra. You can obtain caps, canvas shoes, sticks etc. on hire for the Yatra. Pithus (people who carry weight on their backs) can be hired for carrying your luggage.
Those who have problems in climbing on the mountains, can hire the services of a pony or dandi (palenquin). Pithus can be hired for carrying the children on shoulders. It is advised that you should avail of the services of only registered people be it the pithu, pony or the dandiwalla and keep his token for the period he is engaged. The entire 13 km route is quite wide and tiled. Besides, the whole path is lit up every night by powerful sodium vapour lamps. The whole route is swept and cleaned from time to time throughout the day. Yatris are requested to keep the path clean. Sheds, shelters cum cafeterias are setup throughout the route. Pure vegetarian food is available at these outlets. Price charts are exhibited at all these outlets prominently.
Drinking water has been made available all along the route, with water coolers and storage facilities.
Public utilities with automatic flushing systems along the track and at the Bhawan.
On reaching Bhawan, show your Yatra Slip at the Registration Office and obtain the Batch no. provided on the slip. This number is important as it will determine your place in the queue for darshan.
On reaching Bhawan, have a bath and change your clothes. Be sure to get your luggage and leather items booked in the cloak rooms and obtain the receipt. Book the valuables separately and obtain the receipt.
You can also get blankets on refundable deposit for Rs.100/Blanket.
Buy Prasad, Chunri and Coconuts from the shops situated at the entrance of the Bhawan..