From Yatra Parchi Counter to Darshani Darwaza:
Once a pilgrim is in possession of a yatra parchi he/she is eligible to proceed for the Yatra. The distance from the Yatra Parchi counter to Darshani Darwaza in 1-km. It is so named because it is the point from where the yatra is really deemed to commence and thus becomes the doorway or Darwaza for Darshan. Pilgrims cover this stretch either on foot, or on auto rickshaws or by the bus service which is operated by the Shrine Board free of charge for the pilgrim.
From Darshani Darwaza to Banganga:
The motorable road terminated at Darshani Darwaza. From there the pilgrim has to go forward either on foot or on a pony or on a Palki or Dandi (Palanquin). The holy Shrines is located at a distance of 12-kms from Darshani Darwaza. The entire 13 km route is quite wide and tiled. Besides, the whole path is lit up every night by powerful sodium vapour lamps. The whole route is swept and cleaned from time to time throughout the day.
Yatris are requested to keep the path clean. Shelter cum sheds and shelter cum cafeterias are setup throughout the route. Pure vegetarian food is available at these outlets. Price charts are exhibited at all these outlets prominently. Drinking water has been made available all along the route, with water coolers and storage facilities.
Banganga To Charan Paduka:
2 ½ -kms from Darshani Darwaza at a height of 3,200 feet above sea level is the place known as Charan Paduka. There is an impression of Mata's feet on a rock at Charan Paduka. A small temple has been constructed over this rock at Charan Paduka. The State Government runs a First Aid Centre here. The Shrine Board has set up a Mahila Mandal here.
Charan Paduka to Adhkawari:
6-kms from Darshani Darwaza at a height of 4200 feet above sea level is the place known as Adhkawari. The Shrine Board has constructed a large complex at Adhkawari. Free Dharmshalas, rooms on rent, a post office, a medical dispensary, a chemist shop, a bank, a pony stand and a large number of shops are available at Adhkawari. The Shrine Board also runs a Bhojanalya at Adhkawari which is open round the clock every day.
Hygienically cooked food at subsidized rates is available for the pilgrims from this Bhojanalya. Blankets are also available free of cost for the pilgrims at Adhkawari. Pilgrims first go to the temple at Adhkawari and then enter the narrow cave known as Garbh Joon. At most places the cave is not more than two feet wide. Inspite of this people of all sixes are able to crawl though it.
Adhkawari to Sanji Chhat:
9 ½-kms from Darshani Darwaza lies Sanji Chhat at an altitude of 5,870 feet above sea level. It is a delightful little plateau which affords a panoramic view of the Pir Panjal Range and the Chenab river wending its way majestically to Pakistan. At its feet, as it were, lies sprawled the town of Katra, the base camp of the yatra.
Sanji Chhat to Bhawan:
12-kms from Darshani Darwaza and 2 ½ -kms from Sanji Chhat lies the Holy Shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi JI. It is located at an altitude of 5,200 feet above sea level. The climb up the mountain ceases at Sanji Chhat. The track levels out and the pilgrims have to trek over a flat stretch for almost 2-kms before they begin to descend. The descent carries on for almost half a kilometre till one reaches the area of the holy Shrine - the destination of all the pilgrims who throng to Katra in thousands every day.