After the Police Check Post and Yatra Parchi Check Post, the pilgrims reach a small bridge under which flows Banganga, the legendary river associated with the miracles and legends of Mata. There is water in the river all through the year except when there is an acute shortfall of rain or snow during the monsoon and winter respectively. It is considered sacred and as is normal Hindu tradition, devotees like to bathe in it before proceeding further. In the changed times, many pilgrims prefer to skip the traditional bath, but those having the time or those who are traditionally inclined and wish to follow the legends and traditions, would like to have a dip before proceeding further. There are a couple of Ghats built too, for this purpose. The first one is normally very crowded and the other is comparatively more spacious.
The name of this river comes from two terms, Ban and Ganga. Ban means Arrow and Ganga stands for the sacred river Ganges. It is believed that Mata Vaishno Devi, while on her way to the Holy Cave, created this water body with an arrow from her quiver, hence the name Banganga. It is also said that she had taken a dip in it and had washed her hair here. Thus some people also prefer to call it Bal Ganga, the term Bal meaning hair in Hindi.
Situated on the bank of a small rivulet called Banganga and at a height of 2700 ft., Banganga is the first major station for a yatri when he undertakes his on-foot journey from Katra to Bhawan. As per the legend, the goddess, accompanied by Langoor-Veer was moving to her destined abode in the Trikuta Hills, when Langoor-veer felt thirsty. The goddess shot an arrow into the ground and a spring gushed out.