My First Helicopter Ride to Vaishno Devi:
Those days are gone when the only option to visit Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine is by walking and for those who are physically fit. There are many other options are also available like by walk, by pony or horse. Option to travel by chopper was always available but it’s not affordable for everyone in those times. But nowadays this is affordable to all common people. I visited the holy shrine of Shri MATA VAISHNO DEVI recently. I chose to fly by helicopter during my return trip after darshan from Sanjhi Chhat. As my mom was very tired and she is feeling difficulty in walking down to Katra. So I decided to fly down by chopper from Sanjhi chat to Katra. It was my first helicopter ride so I was excited and a little bit scared too. Imagine the experience how I felt When I look down captivating bird’s eye view of the Katra town as one fly high in the air on a chopper.One can enjoy a panoramic view of Katra city from 6 seater helicopters.
Helicopter ride to Vaishno Devi Shrine:
Currently, there are two companies offering Helicopter services one is Himalayan Heli Services and the other one is Global Vectra Heli Corporation. Himalayan Heli services offer some amazing chopper ride experiences in Katra for u and your loved ones. Prices for the ride are same for both the companies. I paid 1077INR including tax for my helicopter ticket. I booked my ticket on the spot. You can also book on the spot ticket but there is no guarantee that you will get the ticket. So, it’s better to book the ticket in advance online from the website of Vaishno Mata shrine. Helicopter service starts from the Katra on the foothills and drops you at Sanjhi chat or you can take your ride by coming down to Katra.
How to book tickets For Helicopter Ride to Vaishno Devi Shrine:
Online Booking of Tickets:
Online booking can be done Maximum 60 days and minimum 4 days in advance on the official website of SMVDSB.you can book your heli ride from the official website of Mata Vaishno Devi shrine board or you can book the ride online from various sites given below including
yatra.com or tripadviser.com in advance
On the spot Booking or Current Tickets:
On the spot booking of tickets can be done at Katra at the ticket counter of SMVDSB. and the tickets from Sanjhi Chhat to Katra can be booked at the counter near Bhawan.
I started walking down from Bhairon Temple to Sanjhi Chat. On my way to Sanjhi chat, suddenly I saw the bird’s eye view of Sanjhi chat heliport from above. It felt so mesmerizing and splendid to my eyes and heart that I can’t explain in words and left speechless.
when I was walking on my way to Sanjhi Chat from Bhairon Temple I saw many helicopters landing at the helipad of Sanjhi Chat. These helicopters were boarding and down boarding the people from Katra to Sanjhi Chat.
I saw heliport in the mountains first time at Sanjhi Chat. Sanjhi Chat Airport is located amidst lush green trees of Trikuta mountains approximately 2 Km away from the Bhairon Temple. Devotees were astonished to see the heliport.Many devotees were standing there stand to get a glimpse of the Sanjhi Chat Heliport.
I had to report at the airport one hour before the Boarding.When I reached the helipad I had to pass through the usual check-in procedure which involves measurement of weight and of course waiting.the frequency of rides is very good. The journey time is only 4 minutes. After every 8 minutes, another chopper is ready for the next ride. A chopper can accommodate maximum 6 persons 5 at the back and one in the co-pilots seat. The pilot gets the best view from the front seat.
Many things were coming in my mind before I entered the Helipad Sanjhi Chat on Mata Vaishno Devi. I have mixed emotions in my mind at the same time. I was a little bit scared but excited more when I saw the helicopter landing in front of me on Sanjhi Chhat Helipad. I was scared because helicopter landed in an awkward position soon it became normal and it lasted just for one second. the left front part landed first and it was tilted for a second and then pilot landed it very beautifully. As soon as the chopper was touching Helipad my heartbeat was increasing. The air pressure created due to Chopper is very high I thought I may lose balance and fall so I kept my legs tight and hold the ground tightly.
It’s totally windy when I was approaching the helicopter. My hairs raised in the air due to air pressure created by helicopter. I was very happy and excited because this was my first solo helicopter ride.
When Helicopter landed at the airport all the crew members started running towards the helicopter. The crew members started down boarding passengers from the helicopter. After then they started boarding passangers on the helicopter but before boarding, they took our baggage. When I took my seat in the helicopter, the belt of the seat was tied by one of the crew members. I said goodbye to all my family and friends which were left at the waiting room.
I was lucky enough because I was asked to sit in the co-pilots seat. the cabin of the helicopter is a lot smaller than the standard planes. The front and bottom of the cockpit are made from the transparent material.The front seat of the helicopter is most exposed so I enjoyed the view from all sides. I was delighted to have the very beautiful bird’s eye view of Katra town, majestic Trikuta Mountains of Vaishno Devi Shrine with all its dense flora.
The cost of Helicopter ride from Sanjhi Chhat to Katra is 1075 INR one way. When all the passengers were inside the helicopter than in no time rotor blades of the helicopter turn it into a bird. Within one blink I was too far in the air. And in 4 minutes I was down at the base Katra terminal heliport.
Sanjhi Chhat heliport view after helicopter landing
The time taken by the flying machine is eight minutes including take-off, transit, and landing. The 4-minute ride was absolutely thrilling and fantastic.When the helicopter lands I felt even more awesome because of the high feeling of weightlessness. Helicopter rides by themselves are quite thrilling because of their slower motion, terrific view and ability to land in impossibly small places.I must say Pilots of the Himalayan company very much trained and excellent in their work.
When I get down from the chopper, I was totally dumb, even I cant hear my own voice properly. Then I called my hotel Kerni Palace and they sent Van for pickup. They picked me on time.
You must carry printouts of online tickets.
you must carry debit or credit card from which paid money.
You must carry same identity proof which you mentioned during booking the ticket.