Food is more than a necessity for living. It has the ability to make a not-so-good day much better and make an ordinary day feel special. Katra is the closest town to the Vaishno devi mandir. Given its religious significance, it is easy to understand why restaurants in Katra serve only vegetarian food. From dhabas on the roadside to fine dining restaurants, Katra has many different types of eateries to cater to the different types of people who visit this shrine.
Like most places of religious significance, there are places in Katra that offer free food for pilgrims. In Banganga, 1km from Katra, a lunch hall run by the T-series industry offers simple, free food in the form of langar to all visitors. The Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board also offers langar for pilgrims at various spots between Katra and Adhkuwari. These langars serve freshly cooked Dogri food. While the food is free, pilgrims may donate anything they like to the langar in donation boxes kept at site.
There are a number of roadside dhabas to small restaurants in and around Katra. These dhabas typically serve a limited menu of local dishes. Popular dishes at these dhabas include dogri staples like rajma or kidney beans and rice and kadhi. When it comes to roadside dhabas, you can expect the food to be full of flavour and freshly cooked but do not expect frills such as air conditioned seating areas, washrooms, etc. that are expected out of fine dining restaurants. Katra has so many dhabas that it may be difficult to choose one. If you’re not sure of which dhaba to eat at, it is always a good idea to choose the hotel that has the most people eating there. It is also a good idea to ask the locals for recommendations.
Fine Dining Restaurants
Katra caters to people across social classes and hence though they may be fewer in number, Katra does have a few find dining options as well. These restaurants are usually located on the premises of luxury hotels in and around Katra. The fine dining restuarants offer a much more extensive menu as compared to the local restaurants. The food here can range from dogri staples to other types of north Indian food and even Chinese food. However, it I important to remember that even these restaurants serve only pure vegetarian food. Fine dining restaurants typically offer air-conditioned seating areas and are happy to customize food for your palate. For example, if you do not like spices, they may be able to reduce the spice quotient of the dishes you order.
What is important to remember is that no matter where you eat, in a dhaba or fine dining restaurants, Katra offers plenty of flavour in terms of the dishes on the menu. Food here is simply cooked with a unique blend of spices and herbs. So, experiment with different dishes and you may even find a new favourite.