Helicopter Bookings For Amarnath Yatra Are Now Open

The annual pilgrimage begins on June 29 and concludes on August 19, coinciding with the Raksha Bandhan and Shravan Purnima
Pilgrims journeying on the Amarnath Yatra route
Pilgrims journeying on the Amarnath Yatra routeShashi Bhushan pandey/Shutterstock

The annual Amarnath Yatra, a pilgrimage to one of the most important shrines of Lord Shiva, commences on June 29 and concludes on August 19. This 52-day journey to the cave shrine, situated at an altitude of 3,880 metres in south Kashmir, draws thousands of devotees. The shrine is home to an ice stalagmite, Shivalinga, and is accessible for only three months, from June to August, during its waxing phase. Pilgrims can choose between two routes for their spiritual odyssey: the traditional 48-km route through Pahalgam in south Kashmir's Anantnag or the shorter but steeper 14-km Baltal route in the Ganderbal district of central Kashmir. The Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) has announced the commencement of online booking for helicopter services for this year's Yatra.

The Routes

The annual pilgrimage is scheduled to begin on June 29 and conclude on August 19, coinciding with the Raksha Bandhan and Shravan Purnima festivals, according to a statement from SASB. The Baltal and Pahalgam routes are both available for booking, catering to the pilgrimage. Helicopter services for the north Kashmir Baltal route will operate on the Neelgrath-Panjtarni-Neelgrath sector. Similarly, for the Pahalgam route, services will be available on the Pahalgam-Panjtarni-Pahalgam sector.

What To Know

If you're considering making the journey and have completed the required registrations, here's what you need to know. You can now conveniently book helicopter services online through the official website JKSASB.nic.in. No offline tickets or priority bookings will be available, so make sure to secure your spot, as bookings are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. The fare for a one-way trip from Pahalgam to Panjtarni is an affordable INR 4,900, with a round trip costing INR 9,800. The one-way fare for the Neelgrath to Panjtarni route is INR 3,250, and the round trip costs INR 6,500. You must carry an original photo identity card and a health certificate during the journey.

Pilgrims on the route from Pahalgam to the holy Amarnath cave in Kashmir
Pilgrims on the route from Pahalgam to the holy Amarnath cave in Kashmir Shashi Bhushan pandey/Shutterstock

Points To Keep In Mind

Here's some essential information for you to remember when booking your seat:

- The journey from the Panjtarni helipad to the holy cave and back may take some time, with a 5 to 6-hour gap between available slots for pilgrims. It's also important to arrive at your respective helipad at least 30 minutes before the booked time slot.

- Charter bookings are exclusively permitted for travel between Srinagar and Neelgrath, with priority seating on the connecting service between Neelgrath and Panjtarni.

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