The Government of India has commenced the construction of a ropeway project worth Rs 250 crore for Mata Vaishno Devi in Jammu and Kashmir.
In 2022, over 91 lakh devotees visited the temple, with most of them trekking 12 kilometres to reach the temple located in the Trikuta Hills, which sit at an altitude of 5,200 feet near Jammu.
On Wednesday, Rail India Technical and Economic Service Limited (RITES) opened bids for the nearly 2.4-km ropeway project, which will employ a gondola cable car system and could decrease the arduous journey for pilgrims from 5–6 hours to just six minutes.
The project will begin at Tarakote, near the base camp of Katra, and finish at Sanjichat, close to the temple. The project is anticipated to be completed within 3 years. Notably, two years ago, a ropeway was launched from the Mata Vaishno Devi temple in Trikuta Hills to the Bhairon Temple located on another hilltop.
As of now, the only options for getting to the Vaishno Devi shrine are a 12-kilometre, strenuous hike or a helicopter flight from Katra to Sanjichat. For pilgrims travelling to the temple, the ropeway may provide a far more affordable and manageable option.
In 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi opened a different access route halfway to the temple from Tarakote that has less incline and a lower inclination. The Center also announced the launch of a Vande Bharat train from Delhi to Katra in 2020.