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Echoes of Devotion: A Glimpse into the 2024 Amarnath Pilgrimage

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There are 7 helipads available for Amarnath Pilgrimage, but only 4 are open for pilgrims. The following are the details of each helipad:

  • Srinagar Helipad is located at Srinagar Airport and is used by VIPs and defense personnel. It is also open to pilgrims, but only on a limited basis. The fare from Srinagar Helipad to Panchtarni Rs 30000.
  • Neelgath Helipad is located 4 km from Sonamarg and 12 km from Baltal. It is the only helipad that is open to pilgrims near Sonamarg. The fare from Neelgrath Helipad to Panchtarni is Rs. 2,800.
  • Baltal Helipad is located 84 km from Srinagar. It is the most popular helipad for pilgrims from Srinagar. The fare from Baltal Helipad to Panchtarni is Rs. 3,500 but now its not open for pilgrims.
  • Pahalgam Helipad is located 95 km from Srinagar. It is the most popular helipad for pilgrims from Pahalgam. The fare from Pahalgam Helipad to Panchtarni is Rs. 4,200.
  • Panchtarni Helipad is the final helipad for pilgrims. It is located 6 km from the Amarnath Cave. Pilgrims who have taken a helicopter to Panchtarni will need to walk or take a pony to reach the cave. Panchtarni is a beautiful place to spend a night in the lap of nature. The temperature here is very cold, around -2 -to +8 degrees Celsius during the day and below freezing at night. However, the thought of being close to Lord Shiva, who is said to reside in the cave nearby, gives devotees the courage to spend the night. We offer one-night stays in well-maintained tents with all facilities at Panchtarni. Check our Amarnath Pilgrimage Helicopter Packages.
  • Kargil Helipad- This Helipad is not opened for Pilgrims and only defence personnel can use this Helipad for their official use.
  • Shri Amarnathji Holy Cave Helipad
  • The Shri Amarnathji Holy Cave Helipad is a helipad located just 100 meters away from the famous Hindu Shrine Shri Amarnath Holy Cave. It is used only by the Defense, Jammu and Kashmir Government, and the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board. Helicopters used to fly from Baltal and Pahalgam helipads to the Holy Cave helipad, but the service was stopped by the government in 2009 due to environmental problems and a helicopter crash.

The helipad is not open to pilgrims due to the following reasons:

  • It would create problems for the tent-wallahs who earn their living by providing accommodation to pilgrims.
  • There is not enough space at the helipad for all the helicopters that would need to land there.
  • The oxygen level is very low near the cave.
  • It is believed that if pilgrims were to come directly to the holy cave, it would cause environmental problems.

It is important to note that the fares for helicopter rides are subject to change. It is also important to book your helicopter ride in advance, as they tend to sell out quickly.

Here are some tips for choosing the best helicopter route for your Amarnath Pilgrimage:

  • Consider your budget: The fares for helicopter rides vary depending on the helipad you choose. If you are on a tight budget, you may want to consider taking a helicopter from Neelgrath or Pahalgam.
  • Consider your fitness level: The trek to the Amarnath Cave is challenging, and it is important to be in good physical condition. If you are not in good shape, you may want to consider taking a helicopter to Panchtarni and then walking or taking a pony to the cave.
  • Consider the weather: The weather in the Himalayas can be unpredictable, and it is important to be aware of the conditions before you make your decision. If the weather is bad, you may want to consider taking a helicopter to Panchtarni and then waiting until the weather improves before you attempt the trek to the cave.

Pilgrims who choose to walk or take a pony or dandi to the Amarnath cave should be aware of the following:

  • The weather: The weather at the Amarnath cave can be unpredictable, so pilgrims should be prepared for all types of weather conditions.
  • The altitude: The Amarnath cave is located at an altitude of 13,500 feet, so pilgrims should be aware of the effects of altitude sickness.
  • The crowds: The Amarnath cave is a popular pilgrimage site and the crowds can be large, especially during the peak season.

Pilgrims should also be aware of the following travel tips:

  • Book your helicopter tickets in advance: Helicopter tickets are in high demand and they can sell out quickly.
  • Carry a first-aid kit: A first-aid kit is essential for any journey, but it is especially important for a journey to the Amarnath cave.
  • Drink plenty of water: It is important to stay hydrated, especially at high altitudes.
  • Take breaks: It is important to take breaks throughout the journey, especially if you are walking.
  • Enjoy the journey: The journey to the Amarnath cave is a beautiful one and it is important to enjoy the experience.

After getting down from Helicopter at Panchtarni Helipad

After getting down from the helicopter at Panchtarni Helipad, pilgrims have two options to reach the Amarnath cave:

  • On foot: The distance from Panchtarni Helipad to the Amarnath cave is around 6 kilometers and it takes approximately 2 hours to reach the cave. The trek is uphill and can be strenuous, so pilgrims should be in good physical condition.
  • On a pony or dandi: Ponies and dandies are available for hire at Panchtarni Helipad. The cost of a pony ride is around Rs. 2000 and the cost of a dandi ride is around Rs. 6000. The ride on a pony or dandi is much less strenuous than walking, but it is still important to be in good health.

No matter which helicopter route you choose, you are sure to have an amazing experience on your Amarnath Pilgrimage.

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