Highly anticipated Amarnath Yatra, one of the most significant pilgrimage for Hindu devotees, has commenced its online helicopter booking service, much to the relief and excitement of the pilgrims. 

The helicopter service, which significantly reduces the strenuous journey to the Amarnath Cave, has now opened its booking portal for the 2024 yatra season. As per reports, the annual Amarnath pilgrimage will begin on June 29 and conclude on August 19. To ease traveling for pilgrims setting off for this 52-day-long pilgrimage, Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) has introduced the helicopter facility for both the Baltal and Pahalgam routes. 

The helicopter services for the north Kashmir Baltal route will operate on the Neelgrath-Panjtarni-Neelgrath sector, whereas for the Pahalgam route, services will be available on the Pahalgam-Panjtarni-Pahalgam sector.

Pilgrims can book their helicopter tickets through the official website JKSASB.nic.in. Officials have highlighted that there will be no offline or priority booking available. The booking system will operate on a first-come, first-served basis and will be directly provided to the pilgrims. 

For the Pahalgam to Panjtarni route, the one-way fare is approximately Rs. 4,900, while a round trip costs around Rs. 9,800. From Neelgrath to Panjtarni, the one-way fare is around Rs. 3,250, and the round trip costs Rs. 6,500. Each pilgrim must carry an original photo identity card and a health certificate during the journey. The devotees must arrive at their respective helipads at least 30 minutes before their booked time slot. 

Those willing to opt for Charter services must know that the Charter bookings are exclusively available for travel between Srinagar and Neelgrath, providing priority seating on the connecting service between Neelgrath and Panjtarni. This arrangement aims to offer a seamless and hassle-free experience to pilgrims opting for charter services.

Given the challenging terrain and unpredictable weather conditions, the helicopter service is a safer and faster alternative to the traditional trek. Authorities have ensured that all helicopters undergo rigorous maintenance checks, and pilots are well-trained to handle the difficult flying conditions.

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