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Topic : Yatra Management Systems In Shrine Author : Dr. Arun Kumar I.A.S (Chief Executive Officer) Date :28 th and 29 th , January 2006 . Jai Mata Di!!. ABOUT THE SHRINE. The shrine Of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji.

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Topic : Yatra Management Systems In Shrine

Author : Dr. Arun Kumar I.A.S (Chief Executive Officer)

Date :28th and 29th, January 2006


The shrine Of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji

  • The Holy Shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji, one of the most revered shrines of India - an abode of worship for the Devotees since ages
  • Many legends associated with the shrine
  • Generally believed to be discovered nearly 700 years ago by Pandit Sridhar
  • Located nearly 60 Kilometers North of Jammu in the folds of the Trikuta Parbat at an altitude of 5200 Feet from Mean Sea Level.
  • A distance of 48 Kms upto Katra is motorable.
  • The remaining 12 Kms can be covered on pony, on foot or by palanquin or helicopter.


  • In the sanctum sanctorum – inside the Holy Cave, Mata has revealed herself in the form of three NATURAL ROCK FORMATIONS called Pindies each depicting a form of Shakti.

Our Vision

To provide world class facilities to the pilgrims by harnessing the power of technology without diluting the traditional sanctity of the Yatra

things before takeover
Things Before Takeover
  • The Management of the Holy Cave Shrine before its take over by the Shrine Board, vested with Dharamarth Trust and the Baridars.
  • They were responsible for collection and distribution of offerings and management of the Shrine.
  • While the offerings were collected by vested interests, the onus of all developmental activities- even basic amenities lay with the government.
  • Hence acute mismanagement, lack of accountability and no amenities for the yatries.
  • The management of the Holy Cave Shrine taken over by an autonomous Board on intervening night of 30th and 31st August 1986 under “The Jammu and Kashmir Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Act, 1986” promulgated by the then Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Shri Jagmohan on the 30th August 1986.
  • The administration, management and governance of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine and the Shrine Funds vested in a Board comprising a Chairman and nine Board members.
  • The Governor of Jammu and Kashmir is the ex-officio Chairman.
the rapid pace of change
The Rapid Pace of Change

The Track


  • Over 21 km of track including the new track (5.6Km) and Bhairon track (3.5km) developed and tiled


  • Kutcha track maintained by the PWD
  • Dressed stones - either scattered or too slippery.
the rapid pace of change contd
The Rapid Pace of Change Contd…


  • No resting places or shelter sheds.


  • Over 70 shelter sheds (Vishram Sthals) constructed
  • A lot of the track is already covered and rest is under on going programmes.

The Track

the rapid pace of change contd11
The Rapid Pace of Change Contd…

The Track


  • Only a single narrow track
  • No protective fencings or railings


  • Nearly 5000 parapets and 12 km of railings/fencings developed
  • New alternate track to Bhawan- shorter, wider and gentler
  • New eco friendly battery car on the alternate track
the rapid pace of change contd12
The Rapid Pace of ChangeContd…


  • Over 60 water points
  • Over 35 points fitted with coolers and water filters
  • Aqua guard and Ion Exchange water dispensers being set up

Water Supply


  • Spring Water at Adhkuwari
  • Rudimentary drinking water facilities at Bhawan
  • A few Chhabils en route to provide drinking water.
the rapid pace of change contd13
The Rapid Pace of Change Contd…



  • 33 toilet blocks with over 400 toilet seats including European seats
  • Over 500 workers for sanitation and cleanliness


  • Virtually no arrangements for sanitation en route
  • a few tin sheds housing some toilet seats at Banganga, Adhkuwari and Bhawan.
developments in around
Developments In & Around


  • Over 1200 Street Lights (HPSV) fitted on the track to light the entire track at night.
  • Exclusive Receiving Station at Katra.
  • Sufficient Diesel Generator to take care of the power requirements in the event of Power failures.
  • Installation of CFLs and inverters to save energy and fuel
management regulation of yatra
Management/Regulation of Yatra
  • All Yatris required to register themselves at any of the following Yatra Registration Counters:-
  • 1) Main Yatra Registration Counter – Katra.
  • 2) Yatra Registration Counter –Vaishnavi Dham, Jammu.
  • 3) Yatra Registration Counter – Airport, Jammu.
  • 4) Yatra Registration Counter – WTC, New Delhi.
  • 5)Yatra Registration Counter - Hyderabad

Future Counters

  • Mumbai
  • Bangalore
    • Yatris with valid Yatra Slip only are allowed to proceed beyond Banganga Yatra Check Post, where the Yatra Slips are checked.
    • Each Registered Yatri is insured for an Amount of Rs. 1,00,000 (Rs. 25,000 in case of a Minor) against accidental death.
  • Yatries are allotted fresh group number at Parchi Gate Bhawan in order to further regulate the Yatra for Darshans. A Group comprises of 200 devotees.
  • Devotees are allowed to have Darshans according to the Group allotted to them at Parchi Gate Bhawan.
yatri interface enquiry information booth at jammu airport
Yatri InterfaceEnquiry & Information booth at Jammu Airport
  • To facilitate pilgrims arriving at Jammu by Air, an Enquiry & Information booth was inaugurated by the Chairman, SMVDSB (His Excellency the Governor, J&K) in March 2004.
  • Apart from providing information, the facilities available at the booth are:
    • Room Reservation.
    • Yatra Registration.
    • Poojan Reservation
    • Sale of Souvenirs items, Gold & Silver Coins, Yatra Guides, etc.
yatri interface regional office at delhi
Delhi-based pilgrims comprise more than 17 % of the total Yatra.

In order to facilitate these devotees and to ensure better interface with them, the Shrine Board has opened up a sub-office at WTC, near Connaught Place, New Delhi in January 2004

The Delhi Office headed by an officer of the rank of Asstt. Manager useful for:-

Information dissemination.

Room Reservation

Yatra Registration etc. for Delhi based devotees.

Yatri interface - Regional Office atDelhi
yatra highlights
Yatra- Highlights
  • Record breaking Yatra in the Year 2005- Yatra crossed the 6.1 million mark Total Yatra 62,52098.
  • The Year 2005 also recorded the highest ever Yatra for a single month – June 8,57,030
  • Highest ever Yatra in a single day, August 13th, 2005 - 44,442.
  • The intervening period was also marked by the visits of several prominent personalities, the chief among them being,His Excellency the President of India, Shri APJ Abdul Kalam.
regulation of yatra
Regulation of Yatra
  • All Yatris required to register themselves at Yatra Registration Counter at Katra.
    • Yatris with valid Yatra Slip only are allowed to proceed beyond Banganga Yatra Check Post, where the Yatra Slips are checked.

Yatris are allotted fresh group number at Parchi Gate Bhawan in order to further regulate the Yatra for Darshans. A Group comprises of 200 devotees.

Devotees are allowed to have Darshans according to the Group allotted to them at Parchi Gate Bhawan.

News of bomb blast anywhere in J&K

Extreme cold / torrential rains

Land slides

Forest fires


Auspicious dates

Extended weekend clubbed with Holidays

Marriage Season

Amaranth Yatra

a three tier security cover
A Three Tier Security Cover





security agencies involved


J&K Police



(Directly interfacing with the Yatries for Frisking and checking of baggages.)




( These agencies collect intelligence information from various sources and

co-ordinate with active security agencies. )

Security Agencies Involved
target areas
Sanctum sanctorum

All installations/buildings at Bhawan, Adhkuwari, Katra and staff colonies



Water supply systems and power distribution networks

Guarding the porous hilly terrain

Target Areas
x ray baggage system at darshani deodhi
X-ray Baggage System at Darshani Deodhi
  • Following the grenade blast at Banganga- directions by Chairman to beef up security
  • Special X-ray room and frisking counters constructed near Darshani Deodi.
  • X-ray Baggage Detection System installed at New Police Check Post Banganga and Bhawan.
accommodation facilities
Accommodation Facilities
  • The Shrine Board has constructed various Complexes/Buildings at Bhawan, Katra, Jammu and even en route at Adkuwari and Sanjichatt.
  • Both free and rented accommodation of various categories is available.
  • Nearly 150 rooms and 1500 beds available at different locations.
accommodation saraswati dham jammu
AccommodationSaraswati Dham, Jammu
  • Saraswati Dham, Jammu- Dormitory accommodation with a capacity of 500 beds inaugurated
accommodation trikuta bhawan katra
AccommodationTrikuta Bhawan, Katra
  • Trikuta Bhawan- 700 bedded dormitory accommodation inaugurated at Katra
  • Built at a cost of Rs. 5.5 Crore with a temple in its atrium
  • Unique 60 X 90 transparent polycarbonate dome
  • Encouraging response with many group bookings having been received.
  • Yet another low cost accommodation planned near Trikuta Bhawan at YRC II.
food refreshment units
Food & Refreshment Units

06 Bhojanalayas & 13 Refreshment Units (Viewpoints) functional at strategic locations on No-Profit-No-Loss Basis to provide wholesome and hygienic food (Bhojanalayas) & Tea/Coffee & Snacks (Refreshment Units) and also to create competition amongst the private shopkeepers.

  • Bhojanalayas - fitted with modern kitchen equipments, function round the clock at Bhawan.
  • Bakery & Dosa Dispensing plants are available on the track.
catering facilities
Catering facilities…
  • Himkoti, Saket and Satya View Points expanded.
  • Enlargement and revamping of the kitchen area and restaurant area
  • Catering cell Niharika relocated near E&R office at Niharika complex and renamed Annapoorna Bhojanalaya
yatri facilities catering reputed food chains
Yatri Facilities – Catering…reputed food chains
  • The two choices available to the devotees are the local Dhabas and the Shrine Board outlets
  • In order to ensure variety of taste and good quality, felt to bring in good restaurants chains to have catering ventures in the Shrine area
  • Two eating/beverage outlets already been opened by M/s Café-Coffee-Day at Milk Bar and Adkuwari
  • Discussions with Sagar Ratna and Nirulas are currently on.
  • Meanwhile existing arrangements with Nescafe, Bru etc expanded and more outlets allowed.
medical facilities
Medical Facilities
  • Medical facilities in the form of ICU, Hospitals and Dispensaries available at Katra, Bhawan and en-route.
  • Trained professionals, modern equipment and sufficient stock of medicines
  • A 24 Bedded Sagar Suri Hospital is operational at Sanjichhat.
  • 24 Hour charitable dispensary at Katra.
medical facilities41
Medical Facilities
  • Dispensary at Himkoti:
    • In order to provide Medical facilities on Alternate Track, dispensary at a cost of Rs. 13 Lakhs has been constructed near Himkoti.
    • Inaugurated by HE the Governor, J&K (Chairman SMVDSB).
medical facilities42
Medical facilities
  • ICU at Bhawan started- helped augment medical facilities.
    • Only 30 causalities out of over 700 treated devotees thus, saving precious lives.
  • New medical equipments have been added in the medical units at different locations along the track

Facilities in the CHC at Katra and existing evening Clinic at bus stand (Jai Durga Charitable Dispensary, Katra) upgraded by providing new medical equipments like Oxygen concentrator, nebulizer, bedside-cardicap (cardio-scope) defibrillator etc.

strengthening of emergency medical services
Strengthening of Emergency Medical Services
  • An Ambulance with carrying capacity of four patients have been added in the fleet of the Board for shifting the patients/injured yatries requiring specialized treatment.
  • Addition of an ambulance shall strengthen the contingency plans and help saving precious lives.
battery powered pollution free vehicle
Battery powered Pollution Free Vehicle
  • Facility for patients, aged, or physically challenged pilgrims Started in October, 2003.
  • Each vehicle carries 4 devotees on its upward trip & maximum of 8 devotees downwards
  • Nominal Fare of Rs. 100/- per passenger per one way trip.
recommencement of helicopter service
Recommencement of Helicopter Service
  • Helicopter service from Katra to Sanjichhat was recommenced in Nov 2002 through M/s Deccan Aviations Pvt. Ltd.
  • The first major example of private partnership
yatri facilities bhawan
Yatri Facilities - Bhawan
  • For the facility of the pilgrims, providing lockers in the Cloak Room was conceptualized.
  • Nearly 100 Lockers of the Size 2’x2’x2’ installed.
  • For providing cheap/free accommodation and other facilities such as lockers, additional toilet blocks, efforts are on to augment better and most modern facilities as at Bhawan the demand for such facilities is constantly rising.
cloak rooms blanket stores
Cloak Rooms & Blanket Stores

Sufficient number of Cloak Rooms and Blanket Stores available for pilgrims

  • No amount charged for use of above facilities except refundable security against blankets
live telecast of the atka aarti and other measures
Live Telecast of the Atka Aarti and other Measures
  • Atka Aarti held every morning and evening outside mouth of Holy Cave where maximum 80-90 devotees only can be accommodated.
  • High demand and low availability of opportunity to participate.
  • Live relay of Atka Aarti started during morning and evening hours
donations and offerings
Donations and Offerings
  • The Board does not accept or receive any kind of state or central aid- entirely dependant on donations and offerings of the devotees
  • All donations exempt under sec. 80 (G) of the Income Tax Act, 1969
  • Donations also received in kind and even professional services received free of cost
  • The tight monetary control ensures that after spending wholeheartedly on developmental works, the Board is able to build reserves for future endeavours

Computerized donation counter at Bhawan

yatri interface donations and other services through banks
Yatri Interface- Donations and other services through banks
  • Tie ups with various banks
  • Donating to Mata Ji now possible through ATMs of ICICI Bank
  • Similar facility available to NRIs through Money2India of ICICI
  • Similarly J&K Bank customers can donate through Anywhere banking facility
  • Talks with UTI and HDFC currently on.
official website
Existing website of the Board has been revamped using latest technology features and techniques available.

The entire look and feel has been updated to ensure better navigation and ease of use. Information being provided, has been divided into Menus and further been divided into Sub-Menus and Sub-Sub-Menus.

A dedicated section of Online-Services have been started.

Besides the existing Online Donation, facility for Online Room Reservation, Online Helicopter, Online Poojan Reservation and Online Bhaints & Prasad Section have been added.

A Message Board area has been added for the devotees to post their experience. All messages being replied appropriately. All queries and requests are being attended to by a dedicated in house helpdesk

Over 1.5 Lacs net visitors on a single day of inauguration (Oct 13)

Official Website
Online Facilities at our official website.

Online Room Booking.

Online Poojan.

Online Donation.

Online Helicopter Service.

Online Souvenir Shop.

Online Yatra Parchi.

Online Bhaint and Prasad.

Online Darshan.

information technology the board e interface with the yatries
For the first time advance Registration of Yatra has been started through official website i.e. Online Yatra Registration.

SBI (State Bank of India) to issue Yatra Parchies through its ATMs all over the country

A New Section for Online Prayers has been started where devotees can write down their prayers to the Mother Goddess, which are then being sent to Bhawan in the form of a CD and devotees are being sent the Prasad.

All devotees using our room or online services or even helicopter services being sent “Free Prasad”

Regular Feedback on services being obtained from devotees

Information Technology & the Board: e-Interface with the Yatries
lan wan connectivity
Most of Locations / Units are connected with Local Area Network (LAN).

This includes:-

Central Office, Katra

Yatra Registration Counter, Katra

Niharika, Katra



Engineering and Non- Engineering Stores

The Systems Division Central Office Katra works as a main HUB for all locations. Most of Locations / Units are connected with the central Server in the systems division through Wide Area Network (WAN) of Various types using IP based technology.

Type of WAN:-

360E 8/32 Kbps Sky Blaster V-SAT Connection.

2Mbps E1(Leased line) connection from Airtel.

Wireless connectivity between 8 important locations of shrine in the first phase.

LAN / WAN Connectivity
the wide area network



E & R





















Newly purchased, for various projects 60_


computerization of yatra management system starting of advance yatra registration using smart card
Computerization of Yatra Management using biometrics (finger print & plastic card with photo) of the Board was necessitated:

Firstly, to upgrade our security and

Secondly, to even out the Yatra trend which as of now shows curves depicting sharp seasonal variations.

Smoothening out of Yatra trend, if technically feasible, strongly needed to ensure better utilization of infrastructure developed by the Board.

Fool proof Advance Yatra Registration facility could be good tool in this direction to help better plan the pilgrimage to the devotees.

Computerization of Yatra Management System & Starting of Advance Yatra Registration Using SMART CARD
computerization of yatra management system starting of advance yatra registration
Computerization of Yatra Management System & Starting of Advance Yatra Registration
  • Project to be completed in three phases .
  • In the 1st phase employees of the Board, registered Pithoos, Ponywallas & Palkiwallas shall be issued plastic cards (Smart Card) with finger print & photograph in lieu of ID Cards.
  • In 2nd phase operations of Yatra Registration Counter & Enquiry & Reservation Section of the Board shall be covered.
yatri interface board publications
Yatri Interface - Board Publications
  • Collection of Photographs from Art Museum, Chandigarh.
    • In order to obviate copyright problems and to build a database of good, authentic photographs to be used in future and planned Board publications
    • 150 fine quality photographs & slides of paintings of Devi Mahatam have been acquired from Government Art Museum, Chandigarh after due permission.
    • Photographs/slides thus received, have been converted in Soft form by way of High Resolution Drum Scanning.
yatri facilities packaging for gold silver coins medallions
Yatri Facilities –Packaging for Gold & Silver coins & medallions.
  • Packaging for Gold & Silver Coins/Medallions stands developed.
  • Packing contains Certificate of Purity & weight from MMTC/Govt. of India Mind, Mumbai and also depicts the photograph of Holy Pindies besides Vedic hymns.
  • Coin counters set up at prominent places at Bhawan and Katra/Jammu
  • About 1.5-2 kg of gold being retailed monthly
yatri facilities prasad packaging and dispatch through speed post
Yatri Facilities – Prasad packaging and dispatch through Speed Post
  • Special packaging developed for Prasad through IIP Delhi
  • Prasad in various denominations from Rs 101/= to 1001/=
  • Special packaging shall enable dispatch of Prasad by post also
  • Separate ‘Prasad Dispatch Section’ constituted.
  • Prasad being dispatched against Poojan or specific request from devotees.
  • Formal launch in a month’s time.
ongoing and future projects
Ongoing and Future Projects….
  • Construction of Spiritual Growth Centre.
  • Construction of Rope-way between Bhawan and Bhairon Temple.
  • Multi-speciality Medical Centre, Trauma centre etc. at Katra
  • Construction of 2nd Dormitory accommodation at Bhawan –Manokamana-II.
  • A Technical University in the name of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi – “SMVD University”.
  • Gurukul at Charan Paduka.
  • Re-Modeling of Bhawan, Adkuwari Complexes.