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(A circuit for religious and Leisure Tourism)

Kashmir is popularly called a "Reshwaer" meaning the Land of saints and Sufis. A vast majority of Pilgrims visiting Mata Vaishno Devi are unaware of the fact that Kashmir valley is just 6-8 hours drive through stunningly beautiful landscape from Katra- the base camp of the pilgrimage. They may also be unaware about this nature- reigned region being abundant in forest- clad Hills, Snow –topped peaks, rivers, lakes, waterfalls and Glaciers. And having traveled long distances from remote corners of the country to fulfill their wish of paying obeisance to Mata Vaishno Devi, we at KASHMIR HOTEL AND RESTAURANT OWNERS FEDERATION (KHAROF) want them to know that they are very close to a place which affords them an opportunity of spiritual achievement by connecting with nature for which kashmir has been a great source of inspiration over the centuries as evidenced by visits/ abode of Lord Shiva, Ragnya Devi- another from of Durga Mata, sri Shankaracharya Ji, Shikara Devi, Lord Vishnu, Guru Harboring Sahib etc. These greet saints visited this Himalayan region for meditation and Spiritual up- liftment. It is suggested that a connecting short Spiritual cum leisure trip to Kashmir is undertaken along- with the Mata Vaishno Devi pilgrimage. Insist your travel Agent/ Tour Operator to take you on this extended Trip. And if traveling on your own take a coach, taxi or other modes of shared transport abundantly available at Katra and be assured kashmir has a large infrastructure by way of Hotels/ resorts, Guest Houses and lodges to accommodate you accordingly to your budget. Once in Kashmir you can meditate and attain Spirituality by soaking yourself in the freshness of magnificent gardens, watching snowcapped mountains from close range, walking through forest engulfed by clouds and embraced by greenery, listening to sounds of humming birds or watches waterfalls make sound pleasing to ears. This explains why renowned saints chose lofty hills of Himalayas across Kashmir as their abode for meditation and enlightment.

Snugled cozily in the foot of the picturesque Trikuta Mountains at an altitude of 2500ft above sea level, Katra a small town which is 48kms from Jammu enjoys its reputation for being the starting point or the base camp for undertaking the auspicious trip to the holy shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi, the one of most revered Hindu pilgrimages which is reached after an ordeal of trodding along a 13km long footpath.

This small town is well decked with numerous eating outlets, small shops and several hotels providing excellent accommodation facilities which make a divine trip to the the shrine of Ma Vaishno Devi hassle free. Because of large number of devotees frequenting the place throughout the year from every nook and corner of the world, this tiny town remains vibrant and acts as a perfect host while taking care of both national and international tourists.