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Uttarakhand Tourism starts Helicopter service for hilly pilgrimage sites

A five-day helicopter yatra, starting from April 15th, will further enhance accessibility, with helicopters landing near the holy sites, reducing walking distances.

The first batch of pilgrims which took an aerial tour to Adi Kailash and Om Parvat on Monday / Image- PIB release

The Indian state of Uttarakhand has launched the country's maiden helicopter service for Adi Kailash and Om Parvat, two hilly regions that bear significant religious importance for devotees of Lord Shiva.

The first-of-its-kind initiative launched in  collaboration between the Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board (UTDB) and Trip to Temples aims to overcome seasonal and geographical hurdles, ensuring that these revered pilgrimage sites are accessible to a wider spectrum of devotees for an extended duration throughout the year.

Traditionally, reaching these sacred destinations necessitated arduous journeys, either by enduring long treks or a combination of car travel and walking, constrained to brief periods between May and June or September and October. 

Adi Kailash, nestled in the Vyas Valley, holds significance as the second abode of Lord Shiva and Parvati, while Om Parvat, sculpted into a perfect "Om" symbol, stands as a natural marvel along the India-Nepal-Tibet border. Previously, the closest vantage point to witness Om Parvat was Nabhidang, demanding an intimidating 11 km trek from the Old Lipu Lekh Pass.

Trip to Temples, in collaboration with UTDB, have significantly improved the pilgrimage experience by offering devotees a one-day aerial darshan of both sites, commencing from Pithoragarh. A five-day helicopter yatra, starting from April 15th, will further enhance accessibility, with helicopters landing near the holy sites, reducing walking distances.

Vikas Mishra, CEO of Trip to Temples, emphasized the commitment to enhancing accessibility, "We are dedicated to partnering with the Uttarakhand government to make Hindu pilgrimage destinations more accessible. We strive to extend this accessibility, enabling more devotees to fulfill their spiritual aspirations."

District Tourist Officer Kriti Chandra Arya disclosed that the two-hour journey will incur a cost of approximately US$479 (INR40,000), per passenger. The service will be managed by Sky One Airways.

Registration details for the Adi Kailash Yatra by Helicopter can be obtained via phone, WhatsApp at +91 8510007751, or the Trip to Temples website.

This initiative falls under the Uttarakhand government's Heli Darshan scheme, utilizing an Mi-19 helicopter to transport pilgrims from the airport to Adi Kailash and Om Parvat in the Vyas Valley region.


 

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