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Obtaining a Group Number
Yatries would recollect that prior to the commencement of their yatra, they had obtained a Yatra Registration Slip or Parchi from the Yatra Registration Counter (YRC) located at Katra. This slip had been checked and stamped at Banganga. The most important role of the slip is at Bhawan, where the slip is revalidated and used to issue a group number. The group number is allotted at the Yatra Slip Counter located on the left hand side immediately after the luggage check post. This group number would then determine the sequence in which the yatries would have the Holy Darshan and the time for which they would have to wait before obtaining Darshans.

As has already been mentioned, the Holy Darshans in the Cave of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji are in the form of natural rock formation called Pindies with no idols or statues. Due to the narrowness of the Cave and restriction on the number of people being able to pray inside the Cave at any given point of time, Darshans are regulated through a continuously moving queue. Yatries are grouped into batches of 200 each depending on their time of arrival at the grouping counter at Bhawan and each group is called one by one to enter into the Darshan Queue.

The group which is having Darshans at any given point of time is called the current group and the number of groups in between the current group and the group number allotted to the yatri will determine the time for which the yatries shall have to wait before having Darshans. On ordinary days or days of moderate rush, yatries can have Darshans almost immediately after reaching Bhawan. However, on days of heavy rush, especially during the peak months, one may have to wake for 9-10 hours before one’s group number is called out for Darshans.

In any case, irrespective of the rush, one must obtain the group number immediately after reaching Bhawan and only then proceed to carry out any other task.

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