• 9 Sep, 2023
  • By chand.v

The most important activity that a pilgrim has to undertake on reaching Katra is getting registered for the Yatra. Yatra Registration is carried out at the Yatri Registration counter (YRC) near the Bus Stand Katra.

Yatra Registration is also possible online.

All pilgrims without exception are required to register themselves before undertaking the Yatra. The task of registration is done by Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board which is the only STATUTORY & LEGAL authority for the purpose. No other organization, private or public is authorized to issue the Yatra registration. The registration process is entirely FREE and is fully computerized. This process is carried out at the Yatra Registration Counter, popularly known as (YRC), situated at Bus stand, Katra. Under this, each yatri is photographed on spot after registering his/her name, basic information and he/she is issued a RFID Yatra Access card  which is the documentary permission for him/her to proceed on the journey to the main Shrine. Yatri is required to cross the first Check Post located at Banganga (around 1.5 kilometers from the YRC) within 6 hours of the issue of the RFID Card, failing which his/her Yatra Acces Card  is confiscated at the Check Post and yatri is required to take a fresh Yatra Access Card altogether. The entire Yatra Registration process is fully computerized, thus making it convenient, efficient and smooth. It is to be noted that yatries who proceed without FRID yatra access card shall be turned back from Banganga check post and not allowed to proceed further. In the rare case of any yatri being found at Bhawan/en-route without RFID yatra access card, he/she shall not only be turned back but disciplinary action shall also be taken against him/her.

Important: - A separate RFID yatra access card is issued to each devotee/yatri.

Yatra Counter No. II: - In order to reduce the waiting time in the main YRC, a second Yatra counter has been made operational near the second bus stand. It is situated nearly one km away from the main Yatra counter on Udhampur road and is called YRC-II. This has been so designed because the area near the YRC-II is used for idle parking of travel and luxury coaches and for pilgrims arriving through these coaches, it is more convenient to obtain the Yatra Access Card  from YRC-II.

Waiting Slip: - Since the carrying capacity of the Holy Trikuta Mountain is limited, the maximum numbers of yatries who can have Darshans in a single day are about 30,000-35,000. However, during the peak rush periods, the number of yatri arrivals is far in excess of this number. In such a situation, the yatries are then asked to wait at Katra itself. This phenomenon is called Waiting and no yatra registration are issued during waiting.  The phenomenon of waiting is inconvenient but is necessary owing to the geographical limitation of the Holy Hill. Yatries are advised to check out the yatra status from this website before embarking on the yatra. As a thumb rule, weekends during May, June and the second half of December or any other block of school/college/office holidays invariably witness heavy rush thereby necessitating "Waiting".

Need and Importance of Registration Registration at YRC is important because of the following reasons:-

  • All Devotees, once they get registered at the YRC for their trek are automatically and compulsorily insured against any accidental causality (a rare possibility) on their way to the Holy Shrine. This is a free insurance to all those who undertake this holy pilgrimage. The amount of insurance is Rs.3,00,000/- for majors and Rs 1,00,000/- for minors and is valid only in case of accidental deaths. For cases of natural deaths including heart attacks, this insurance package is not applicable.
  • Unlike other major pilgrim spots, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine is located deep in the mountains. Though a lot of development has taken place all along the way from Katra to Bhawan, the Holy Mountain has its own limitations and saturation levels as regards its capacity to hold and sustain large crowds. Besides, the resources available to provide various services and facilities to the Devotees are also limited. This is because, in the absence of a road, even the most basic and essential items have to be carried either on ponies or by humans.
  • Further, since the Holy Pindies are situated in a narrow Cave, group visits for Darshans are not possible. The system of Darshans is thus through a continuously moving queue, round the clock. Thus only a limited number of pilgrims can have Darshans everyday.

Thus, because of all the above reasons, the number of pilgrims on the track and at the main Shrine Complex needs to be regulated. This regulation to helps to avoid overcrowding and accidents and also ensures that all of them get basic facilities like food and water.

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