The management of the Yatra and the governance and administration of the Shrine is done by the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, popularly called the Shrine Board. The Board was set up in August 1986 under the provisions of The Jammu and Kashmir Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Act, 1988. The main objective of the Act was to provide for better management and governance of the Holy Shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji and its endowments including the appurtenant lands and buildings.
Prior to the takeover, the management and control of the Shrine was with a private trust called the Dharamarth Trust and a group of traditional local residents called Baridars (so called because they collected their offerings as per their turn- bari) .The takeover was necessitated considering the poor state of things and the absence of facilities for the pilgrims. While the offerings were pocketed by the Baridars, the other incomes including rentals and royalties were taken by the trust. However, there were very few facilities for the Yatries. The pilgrims who reached the Holy town of Katra from all over India with devotion and faith in their hearts were often met with all kinds of hardships, insensitivity and mismanagement.