Jammu is a land of grand ancient temples, and beautiful palaces. Jammu is one of the largest cities and winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir. It is also known as Jammu Tawi and the City of Temples. Several temples like Raghunath Temple and Ranbireshwar Temple are situated around it. Jammu marks the change between dusty plains of Punjab in the south and Himalayas in the north.
Around 50 km from Jammu, situated at the foothills of Trikuta mountain, Katra is the gateway to Vaishno Devi shrine, the second most important temple in India. The town thrives on the religio-tourism industry. Katra is a shoppers’ paradise. The markets of Katra stock dry fruits, garments and leather goods. It is a good place to buy garments embellished with Kashmiri embroidery. Main Bazaar is the best place to buy souvenirs, dry fruits, Kashmiri carpets, namdas, shawls, phernas, silverware, silks, brassware, Pashmina shawls, Cashmere shawls. Chunri’s, Shawls and Sari offered to Vaishno Devi by devotees can be bought from souvenir shops run by Vaishno Devi Shrine Board.
Vaishno Devi shrine is at an altitude of about 5200 metres on Trikuta Mountains. It is at a 13 km trekking distance from Katra. Mata Vaishnodevi is a manifestation of goddess Mahalakshmi. This is one of the most important pilgrimage centres for Hindus. In year 2016, about 2.5 lakh pilgrims visited to the shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi.