1. If you have Army connection, you can get special passes from the Army Counter near Banganga. These passes help you jump the general queue and darshan will be much quicker.
2. Prasad is available at the Bhawan and you don’t need to carry it all the way up from Katra.
3. There are ample places to eat en-route to Vaishno Devi shrine. Travel light and enjoy the trek.
4. Battery operated autos (apparently only for senior citizens) available only during the day.
5. Yatra Registration Slip is a must and can be obtained for free from Yatra Registration Counter at Katra.
6. You need to cross the first check post at Banganga within 6 hrs of issuance of the Yatra Slip.
7. Beware of emotional blackmailers: Someone may approach you on the pretext that he/she has lost her wallet and need money to reach back home. DO NOT entertain. If you have to, escort them to a nearby police post.
8. There are a good number of hotels and other places to stay in Katra.
9. Rush Hour: New Year’s eve, Navratras and summer vacation (May-June) are the most crowded periods.
10. Helicopter Service to Vaishno Devi: Take a helicopter ride from Katra to Sanjhichatt helipad.