Top 10 Places To Visit Near Katra
Katra is one of the finest places to visit in the state of Jammu and Kashmir and it is a real treat for the body, mind and soul. People mainly come to Katra so that they may visit the Vaishno Devi temple nearby but there are a number of other attractions as well and lots of other places to visit near the main Katra city. Located in the foothills of the Trikuta Mountains, Katra pleases with its scenic beauty and spiritual air. Here are some of the other places which you must also visit while you are in Katra:
Places to Visit Near Katra:
- Vaishno Devi
- Baba Dhansar
- Tulian Lake
1. Vaishno Devi
As mentioned earlier, those who come to Katra mainly come here to visit the temple of Vaishno Devi which is one of the holiest places among the Hindus. Each year, hundreds and thousands of pilgrims visit the temple during the summer months, when the roads are open after snowfall has ceased. There are some other temples here as well like the Mata Rani, Trikuta Bhagwati and the Vaishnavi. There are direct trains to Katra railway station from Dekhi and from other nearby cities.
2. Baba Dhansar
It is another major religious place in Jammu and Kashmir and even here, the Hindu pilgrims come in huge numbers every year. The temple is quite close to Karua Jheel and it is very beautiful and scenic locale. The Karua village is also located close by and the locals come here frequently. It is believed that Baba Dhanesar was the son of Vasudev and with the help of Lord Shiva he had killed a demon that had emerged from the Jheel. The lake is considered very sacred which is why bathing is not allowed here at all. There is also a Nag temple nearby and Shivratri is celebrated in this temple with a lot of pomp. One can easily get here by taking a direct train to the Jammu Tawai station. May to July is the peak season when the pilgrims visit. A similar shrine nearby is Shivkhori. It is one of the best tourist places near Katra.
Patnitop is another mesmerizing hill station which is located about 6640 feet above the sea level and one can easily access it through the Jammu Srinagar Highway. The route to the hill station is beautiful and is lined with pine and cedar trees. The Patnitop hill station is the only hill station where snowfall can be seen in the winters in Jammu and hence even the locals from the rest of the Jammu come here during the winters. The valley is a really a treat for the tired souls and one instantly becomes aware of the beauty of nature. The air is fresh and the surroundings so pleasant and you will instantly enjoy peace and joy when you come here. There are also provisions for a number of adventure activities here like paragliding, skiing, trekking and golfing. Some of the key landmarks of Patnitop are Nathatop, and Mantalai. One can reach Patnitop by taking a train till Udhampur railway station which is only 24 km from Patnitop and take a cab rest of the way. It is a very popular hill station near Katra.
Dalhousie is truly and outstanding and amazing hill station and many people come to Himachal Pradesh just to visit this picaresque town. The city has lush greenery all around and you will encounter beautiful English and Scottish homes which were built in the colonial period and they are so wonderful to look at. It is one of the most relaxing places in the entire state and a number of youngsters come here regularly. During the summers, there are a number of camping expeditions here and it is such a joy to sleep beneath the starry sky. The time between April to November is the best time to visit and of course, if you can come during the winters, there would be a winter wonderland waiting for you. The nearest railway station in Dalhousie is Chakki Bank and that is 44 km away. You can also catch a flight till Gaggal Airport. During your stay, you have to visit the Mall, the Moti Tibba hills and of course, the Kalatop wildlife sanctuary. The best time to visit is from April to November. It is one of the best places near Katra to visit.
Mcleodganj is one of the small yet mesmerizing hill station in Himachal Pradesh and it is mainly a seat of Buddhism ever since the holy Dalai Lama chose to make it his residence. The hill town has a rich Tibetan culture of its own and this place is especially famous among foreign trekkers. Campers and trekkers from various parts of India also come here in huge numbers. There are various trekking trails that start from here and it is a joy to be able to explore them without having to worry about the rush of the busy urban life. During the summers the hills around come alive with beauty and greenery and during festivals like Buddha Purnima, the strets are decorated with prayer flags. You will not find such peaceful and tranquil ambience in any other trekking town but somehow spirituality and adventure come together in this amazing city. It takes about 5 hours to reach Mcleodganj from Katra by road and the Gaggal Airport is about 7 km away and the Kangra railway station is 17 km away. The best time to visit is from February to November. While here, you have to visit the Dal Lake, the Bhagsunath Temple and go for a trek at the Triund.
Pahalgam is stunning location in Jammu and Kashmir and is situated in the Lidder Valley. You have to visit this amazing hill city to understand how beautiful Kashmir can be in places. You can visit Pahalgam on your way or on your way back from Katra. For trekkers, this is a dream destination and 15 km from Pahalgam there is the Kolahoi glacier which is located at a height of 18,000 feet. Your main stay can be in Aru and it is one of the best places to get some stunning shots of the valley. You are going to see a number of cattle herders who work in this region and you are sure to fall in love with the stunning beauty of this locality which makes it an an idyllic honeymoon. You will be able to drive through orchards and you will love the pine trees lining the road around you. The mountains are lush with greenery and if you plan to visit during the winters, you will find snowfall here which makes this a place look straight out of a Disney movie.
Chandanwari is located is the outskirts of Pahalgam and like the Vasihno Devi is Katra, it is the source of the journey for another religion shrine among the Hindus, the Amarnath Temple. Unlike other pilgrimages, this pilgrimage is mostly held in the month of Sawan or Monsoon and it is quite an experience to travel through the mountains to reach this holy shrine. It can be very physically taxing to undertake both the pilgrimages one after another but those who come from far away try to do so within the same year, with a break in between. This actually works to their advantage because so long as they stay here they can enjoy the scenic beauty of the mountains around. There are great mountains and lush valleys to be seen and every new turn and bend will reveal something new about the place. If you are not here for the pilgrimage, then of course, you may visit at any time of the year.
8. Tulian Lake
The Tulian Lake is located in the middle of the Zanskar River and the Pir Panjal Mountain Range and the lake offers a splendid vista as the mountains around are reflected in the green waters. You will see the mighty Pir Panjal peaks in the distance and there are stunning snow capped peaks to be seen all around you. The journey to the Lake through the mountain paths is quite an adventure and it is one of the best ways to experience the beauty of Kashmir. If you are an adventure freak and want to tread off the beaten track then you have to take the trail from Baisaran. You will find many barren hills and rugged roads here and they are great for off road biking. However, you will experience a new kind of beauty and it will show you a different aspect of Kashmir.
Srinagar is the capital of Kashmir and so when you are traveling to Katra, it only makes sense to stay here for a few days and enjoy a view of the amazing city. You cannot afford to miss the boating in Dal Lake and you have to visit the apple orchards here. The city on the mountains is truly one a kind and there are so many things to look forward to. Shopping in Srinagar is a truly special experience as you get to indulge in authentic Kashmir stitched shawls and pashminas. The rugs and carpets make a great gift for your friends back home. You will love the serenity of the city and its colorful vibe and will be able to recollect your strength before you head to the more rigorous journey to Katra.
If you have enough time on your hands once you have finished your pilgrimage at Katra, then you can head towards Leh and Ladakh for a dose of adventure. Leh and Ladakh are popular destinations about adventure lovers but a number of families are visiting there as well. You can stay in guesthouses there and try out some adventure activities like sand dune driving. It is truly a photographer’s delight and you will find mountain eagles soaring in the skies. It is one of the best Jammu tourist places near Katra.
These are the top places to visit near Katra and try to visit at least some of them for your next visit and you will have a stupendous vacation for sure.
Hey! I'm Gauri. Sagittarius by birth, clumsy by choice. An engineer turned writer. Loves animals tolerate humans. Has a thing for pizza and old books. Expertize in awkward conversations and creepy smiles.
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