We reached Katra, covering 7 kms at a relaxed pace, around 1:30 pm. From there we took an auto to the railway station. We were at the railway station by 2:15 pm. Now I must praise Katra railway station, which is a recent development that I’m really proud of. The station is not a fancy multi-storied concrete ornament for the state of Katra. Instead, it’s a government building which makes one feel instantly at home. Its design and location complements the feeling of the state and doesn’t compromise on the basic hygiene and other facilities. Our train back to Delhi was scheduled to start at 7:00 pm & we had not decided what we would do in the 5 hours that we had in our hands. However, as soon as we saw the open lawn at the station, with the sun shining bright in the backdrop of the Himalayas, we instantly ran to it, dropped our luggage near some plants, and knew in our hearts that we’re going to spend all our time there, under the sun, on the grass, appreciating the scenery! We had a late lunch in the IRCTC restaurant on the first floor of the station. The restaurant setup is beautiful and the food is good too! We bought some souvenirs from the gift shop next to the restaurant and boarded the train around 6:30 pm. Our journey would have been flawless, if a bunch of guys could use earphones for listening to music at 5:00 am in the next morning! ????
If you need any help in planning your trip to Vaishnodevi, feel free to ask in the comments section. Jai Mata Di! :)