Reach Vaishno Devi Temple In Six Minutes: Bidder Finalised For Rs 200 Crore Ropeway Project From Base Camp To Holy Shrine

Amit Mishra

Feb 21, 2024, 01:53 PM | Updated 02:54 PM IST

Vaishno Devi Bhawan. (Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board).
Vaishno Devi Bhawan. (Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board).

Soon, the challenging trek to the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine in Jammu and Kashmir might become a thing of the past. The government has chosen a contractor to construct a ropeway project, worth Rs 200 crore, leading to the sacred shrine.

G R Tarakote Sanjichhat Ropeway Private Limited, a subsidiary of G R Infraprojects, has signed a concession agreement with the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) on 20 February 2024, to undertake the construction of the ropeway project.

The 2.4-kilometre ropeway, starting from Tarakote near the Katra base camp and ending at Sanjhichhat, a mere 0.5 kilometre from the revered shrine, promises to significantly shorten travel time to just six minutes, making it easier for visitors and saving them both time and effort.

The shrine board has proposed to execute, operate and maintain the new ropeway on build-own-operate-transfer basis. The project has a concession period of 33 years, inclusive of a three-year construction phase.

Existing Route

Nestled in the Trikuta mountains at an altitude of 5,200 feet, the Vaishno Devi Temple is located in Reasi district. Over 91 lakh pilgrims had visited the holy temple in 2022, most of them undertaking a trek of nearly 12 kilometre from the base camp at Katra.

So far, the only way to reach the Vaishno Devi temple is through a steep 12-kilometre-long trek along Katra-Adhkuwari-Bhawan route or taking a helicopter ride from Katra to Sanjhichhat.

Trek Route of Vaishno Devi Temple
Trek Route of Vaishno Devi Temple

However, walking for 12 kilometre can be arduous and tiring for those not used to it. Also, many pilgrims who are overweight or otherwise not fit to walk for long and those who have breathing problems or some other ailments or are old or physically challenged, need the services of ponies and palkies.

The ropeway could offer a much cheaper and far less arduous journey for pilgrims to the temple.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May 2018 had inaugurated Tarakote Marg, an alternate 7 kilometre track to the temple which is less steep and with an easier gradient.

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