The entry gate to the track is around 1 km from the bus stand at a point known as Darshani Deodhi (meaning entrance) or Darshani Darwaza (meaning gate). Legend says that Mata Vaishno Devi met Pandit Shridhar at this spot in the form of a girl child. This is also known as Darshani Darwaza because from here one gets a complete view of the Trikuta parbat (mountain). The term Darshan stands for view; hence symbolically this is the first Darshan of the Yatra. This spot is at 2800 feet above sea level.
There are two gates at this point; the first or the older gate leads to a flight of stairs; the second or the newer one has been developed by Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board as a grand colonnaded porch with adequate parking for private vehicles. The army assistance counter is also located here.
One can either walk up to the Darshani Darwaza on foot or hire an auto rickshaw. If one has his own vehicle one can drive up to the new gate, adjacent to the Darshani Darwaza and leave it parked there. But one is strongly advised to lock it properly and to remove all the valuables before leaving it behind. Parking is at the owner's risk.