Located in Trikuta hills, 13 kms from Katra (in Jammu and Kashmir); Vaishno Devi is a town that's home to the famous Vaishno Devi Mandir. This renowned shrine allures millions of devotees from all over the world. Popularly known as Mata Rani, Vaishnavi and Trikuta, Vaishno Devi is a manifestation of the Hindu Goddess Durga. It is believed that during the pooja and aarti, Goddesses arrive at the Holy cave to pay their respect to Mata Rani. Devotees believe goddess herself calls the devotees to reach here. Vaishno Devi is a religious trekking destination where pilgrims walk about 13km uphill to reach the caves which are among one of the 108 Shakti Peetha. It takes about 6-9 hours depending on the weather and pace. Ponies and Palanquins, as well as helicopter services, are available by various vendors to take you up there.
Dera Baba Banda Located 30 kms from Katra on the banks of the river Chenab, this historic gurudwara is dedicated to Baba Banda Bahadur, one of the Sikh leaders of Guru Gobind Singh. It attracts a large number of Hindu and Sikh devotees, especially during the three-day fair held at Baisakhi. The inside of the gurudwara depicts several important Sikh leaders, and houses ashes, weapons, and other relics of the great Baba Banda.
Bhairavnath Temple Dedicated to Bhairav Nath, this temple is only a 2 kilometers walk up from the main shrine. The picturesque views from the temple are totally worth the trek, but if you’re too tired to walk, ponies are also available. It is believed that a pilgrimage to Vaishno Devi is complete only after paying a visit to this temple.
Holy Cave of Shiv Khori Popular for its natural rock formations—the 4 feet high shiva lingam, and objects bearing similarity with Goddess Parvati, Lord Ganesh, and Nandi—this 200 meter long cave is a sight to see. The carved snake formations on its roof from which water trickles down on the lingam, make it even more spectacular.