Known For : Bahu Fort Mubarak Mandi Palace Mansar Lake
The entry point for people travelling to Vaishno Devi by Flight, Jammu is world famous for its scenic splendour, snow-capped mountains, plentiful wildlife, exquisite monuments, hospitable people and local handicrafts. Jammu also houses the famous Maha Kali Temple which is considered second only to the Vaishno Devi Temple.
Best Time: September to March
Known For : Nathatop Paragliding in Patnitop Skiing in Patnitop
112 km from Jammu, Patnitop is known for endless meadows and panoramic views of the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas. Also spelt Patni Top, it is a famous hill station. Patnitop offer beautiful picnics, serene walks and stunning view of Chenab basin. It is also popular for trekking (summer) and skiing (winter).
Best Time: Throughout the year
Known For : Paragliding Wilderness Adventure Camps(WAC) Naag Mandir
One of the lesser-known hill stations in Jammu-Kashmir region, Sanasar is an adventure enthusiasts' haven. It is one of the most popular places to visit near Katra for paragliding, rock climbing, abseiling and trekking. Sanasar is built in a cup-shaped meadow surrounded by gigantic conifers.
Best Time: April to June
Shivkhori is a holy cave located in Udhampur district 90 km from Vaishno Devi. It houses a 4-foot long self-mainfested lingam of Lord Shiva. The cave itself is in the shape of Lord Shiva's damroo. The most astounding feature is the natural milky water dripping on top of Shiva Linga. Shivkhori is a popular place to visit from Katra (70km away), especially during the rush hour period when the yatris have to wait for being allowed to start Vaishno Devi Yatra.
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Baba Dhansar is a Lord Shiva Temple. Located around 15km from Katra, on the way to Salal Dham, it is a popular place to visit near Vaishno Devi. The temple has a self-manifested Shiva Linga with natural drops of water falling over it. There is also a spring flowing from the nearby rocks that forms stunning waterfalls merging with the Chenab river.
Bhaderwah is a town located in the district of Doda in Jammu and Kashmir. The spread of flora and fauna, stony hills, snow-capped mountains, valleys and the grasslands offer a natural exposure. It is also nicknamed as Mini Kashmir. Bhaderwah is around 160km from Katra which is makes it a loved place to visit near Vaishno Devi. Skiing can be enjoyed on the slopes of the snow-filled mountains.
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