Katra is a small town in the Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir, on the foothills of the Trikuta Mountains, which is popular as the base camp for pilgrims visiting Vaishno Devi. When people come here it is only for Vaishno Devi darshan, and not many people are aware of the hidden treasures of Katra. The place is painted with beautiful picturesque landscapes and luscious greenery. Though a small town, Katra has a lot of places worth visiting and takes tourists by surprise by the beauty of its attractions and the luxuries provided by hotels in Katra. Here are some of the best and lesser-known experiences in Katra that are worth exploring.
1. Baba Dhansar
Baba Dhansar is one of the many holy places in Katra, but what makes it special is the lovely waterfalls that surround the area. Located about 15 kilometers from Katra, you will need to walk a 100 step path towards the temple. There is lush greenery on both sides along the path, and when you finally reach you will be rewarded with a view of the spring and a number of small waterfalls. There is a naturally formed Shivling here, and how it was formed remains a mystery to the local people even today.
Located at a distance of 45 kilometers from Katra, this is a lush green Mughal garden. Many people come here to visit the famous Bahu Fort but end up missing out on this beautiful hidden gem. The garden is filled with various types of flowers and an extremely beautiful water fountain. You can spend an entire day exploring the beautiful flora of the garden. The best time to visit it is either during the summer or winter months when the weather is at its best.
3. Baradari (below Reasi)
The white water rafting experience from Baradari to Dhera Baba Banda (22 Km from Katra) near Katra is thrilling and a lot of fun. There will be a guide accompanying you during this activity and it does not require any prior training or skills. If you’re an adventure junkie, you will simply love the twists and turns the raft takes along the white water currents of Chenab, near Katra. Rafting among the mountains is an experience you will never forget!
4. Ranbireshwar Temple
Many people come to Katra to visit the Vaishno Devi Mandir, but there are so many other beautiful temples that tourists miss out on during their visit here. One of these is the Ranbireshwar Temple, located around 40 kilometers away from Katra. This temple is devoted to Lord Shiva, with twelve Shiva lingams placed around the temple, and the main attraction is the 7.5 feet long lingam located in the main sanctum of the temple. April and September are the best months to visit this sacred temple.
5. Jhajjar Kotli
This serene water spot is located around 15 kilometers from Katra on NH 1A and is the perfect spot to enjoy a picnic with your friends or family. The fresh air and mist of the mountains will rejuvenate you and make you feel fresh and clean from the city pollution. The quiet lull of the rivulets gushing through the valleys will soothe your ears. Do visit this place to ensure a memorable day with your loved ones. The best time to visit is during the summer when the weather is warm and pleasant.
So what are you waiting for? With all these beautiful places awaiting you, all that’s left to do is check out one of the many Katra Hotels and book your tickets!