In July 2021, I had planned a short yet budget visit to Vaishno Devi shrine for the month of August. Initially it was a solo trip as I wanted to explore that how one can pay his/her visit to the shrine in lowest budget possible, however not compromising with comfort.
My plan finally worked out with my father Mr. Sanjeev Kumar Gupta, who wanted to go with me after my younger brother denied due to his exams.
Since, we went to Vaishno Devi during a long weekend, 28th August (Saturday), 29th August (Sunday) and 30th August (Monday – Janmashtami), we witnessed a huge crowd, right from Katra to Bhawan.
So how I planned my trip?
Firstly I figured out the options that I have to make my trip a low budget trip. I planned to travel in sleeper class train, decided to stay in dormitories instead of hotel.
Since, August is a summer month, it would be hard to travel in day due to heat. I searched for a train that completes its journey to Katra in the night hours, but couldn’t find any. Then I found 02265 Jammu Duronto Express which departs at 10:20 pm from Delhi Sarai Rohilla and reach Jammu at 7:15 am – approx. 9 hours journey. Jammu Rajdhani takes approx. 8 hrs 30 minutes and Vande Bharat upto Katra takes 8 hours, but both were out of my budget.