A visit to the holy town of Katra is a must especially if you are a Hindu. The city which is a part of the many pilgrimage trek, the city delivers a perfect stay where one can enjoy the picturesque scene of nature at the same time have a great shopping experience. This article talks about everything you need to know before you set foot in the city.
Katra is one of the holiest sites for the Hindus. It is mainly visited as part of their pilgrimage journey by the Hindu devotees. The city is visited in huge numbers by devotees each year for the Vaishno Devi Mandir it houses. Katra lies at about 40 km from Jammu and about 600 km from New Delhi. You can approach it via road by booking a taxi or getting on a bus, but for a more comfortable and quicker journey, it is recommended that you take the Delhi to Katra trains. You can approach and leave the city in the same way. Katra being a major pilgrimage site also intrigues the tourists which makes it a tourist hub. The holy city sees a decent number of tourists and travellers each year. Here are some tips for the outsiders on their first trip to this holy city.
The Hotel Scam
If something looks too good to be true, it probably isn’t. Do not trust the welcoming hotel owners who showers you with hospitality and takes care of your baggage and tells you that you can head up to the room and freshen up as you please and take a rest. They will charge you equivalent to a night’s charge for a room and when you are done washing up and resting and you return back to the hotel to retire for the night they will additionally charge you extra for the night to spend and protest, saying the amount you have been asked to pay earlier was for using the room to wash up and store your baggage. Always negotiate well before you pay anything because behind those smiles are a motive and an agenda to make more money.
The Curious of the Artificial Saffron
All across India, it is a common sight where vendors and hawkers sell items on stop cars at the stop signal, however, most of those things are street food, toys or clothing. In Katra, these hawkers go about selling saffron and as weird as that sounds, they can still manage to dupe you in that business! They will walk around with samples and a small jar of water and dissolve the saffron in front of your eyes as ‘proof’, but don’t let the sweet talk and stupid stunt fool you.
Travel light and smart!
Do not pack a dead body equivalent of weight in your baggage. Travel light, but carry a big bag with you. The reason being the amount of things you will be buying from Katra. There are many things you could buy at cheap rate which are otherwise sold at crazy high rates in the cities. All the way from dry fruits, berries to lentils and various other things, Katra’s shopping scene will be light on your pocket but heavy on the load!