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Helicopter service for Vaishno Devi

Experience and knowledge on helicopter services to reach Maa Vaishno Devi.

Gone are those days when the only option to visit the holy shrine was to go by walk. Today we have helicopters doing the job for you. I mean the option of traveling by a chopper was always there but how affordable was it? This time it is simply affordable to common people.

I had been to the Holy Shrine of Maa Vaishno Devi recently. I chose to fly by the helicopter as I didn’t have much time to spare and wanted to return the same day. I explored the official website of Vaishnodevi shrine. There you have the option of booking the Helicopter ride tickets online, in advance.

There are currently two operators – Pavan Hans aviation and Air Deccan. The cost of ride per person for one way is Rs. 1250/- You can also go for on-the-spot booking but there is no guarantee that you would get one. Please reach the helipad at least one hour before the departure time that would be allotted to you once you have the confirmation of ticket.

helicopter service vaishno devi

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The base camp for the shrine is at Katra which is around 70 kms from Jammu. The helipad is at about 2 kms distance from the Katra bus stand. The rickshaw ride would generally cost around Rs. 60/-.
Once at the helipad, you have the usual checkin-procedure which involves measurement of weight and of course waiting. The frequency of rides is pretty good. The journey time is only 4 minutes which means every 8 minutes you have the chopper ready for the next ride. In every trip, the chopper can accommodate 6 persons, five at the back and 1 in the co-pilot’s seat.

I chose to book through the Pavan Hans operator. I was lucky that I was asked to sit at the co-pilot’s seat. It was my first ride on a helicopter. The pilot gets the best view one can get from the aircraft. The front and bottom in the cockpit are made from a totally transparent material and hence you can enjoy the view from all the sides while airborne.

It gets totally windy when you approach the aircraft. You know, filmy style. Once I was inside, the pilot didn’t waste anytime – quickly raised the accelerator or what ever it is and in no time we were at the elevation of around 2000+ ft from the ground. It was a fantastic experience for me. I could get a fine view of the villages nearby Katra and the dense flora on the hill.

Once you are on top, you land on a relatively small helipad called Sanji Chhat. The shrine, also called as the Bhawan, is around 2 kms from here. Another important thing to remember is, a special priority darshan slip will be issued to all those who travel by the helicopter and you get to stand in a separate queue which is usually way shorter than the normal one, plus you get a separate locker facility. You need not register at the base camp where you declare the details of pilgrims (this is mandatory for those who go by walk).

I was lucky for the second time as I could get the darshan in less than 10 minutes time. I don’t think it was off season but surprisingly at that time of the day (around 1 pm), there wasn’t any crowd. And I chose to walk on the return trip. It took me around two and a half hours to cover the distance of 14 kms to the base camp.

I would suggest that if you have do not have much time and plan to cover this place in less than one day, go for the helicopter ride. It is fun and at the same time affordable.

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57 thoughts on “Helicopter service for Vaishno Devi”

  1. wow, it looks like ancient religion is getting modern and banking on it!
    however, the price doesn’t seem to be outraugeous. here for a helicopter ride it’s $1200 per hour. although we’re not communing with god or his loving people 🙂

  2. I had been to Vaishno Devi twice, once with my parents, when I was a small kid and later with my wife when a group of visually impaired trekkers had gone on a trip. We started at 10 pm at night and were back to Katra at about 6 am in the morning. We had seen this hale pad, on our way up but neither had we had any knowledge about it, nor could we all afford a chopper. Thank you for the post.

  3. I love reading the easy style of your posts. V_E_R_Y informative and also chatty:)

    Sure will keep coming back to know more about whats happening at your end.

    Happy travels!

  4. Sandip,
    It is all written here on this post.

    There are two ways to book your ticket.
    First, you can book your ticket in advance thru internet. Go to this website you need to register (free) yourself for doing so.
    Another option is to reach Katra and book on the spot but there is no guarantee that you’ll get tickets for the same day.
    The ticket price is Rs 1250/- per person.

  5. I want to make mata maharani ki darshan along with my daughter & wife ( 3 persons) from Katra to Joi Matadi Mandir by Pawan Hans Helicopter service on 17-01-10. We will reach Jammu from Delhi by Rajdhani on 17-01-10 at about 5.30 in the morning. For the same I want to book on line the helicopter tickets. Kindly help me by instructing my mail id given above.

  6. Kindly arrange my on line booking of Pawan Hans Helicopter service for Vaishna Devi Darshan on 17-01-10 morning. I am paying by SBI Debit Card.

  7. @Tarun,
    I am glad that you are traveling to Vaishno devi with your family.
    However, I am not a travel agent or someone who can book your tickets. I am trying to just help fellow travelers with information needed and updating this site from time to time with latest info.

    I guide you to the following site which has step by step instructions to book your tickets.

    Thank you very much to have such faith in me. Let me know if you need any further assistance.

  8. Thank you very much Nisha for my concerned journey not just lackadaisically. Thanks again for your eleemosynary gesture. Your vicarage sponsors my courage. Nevertheless, trying very hard to register online booking the required tickets from Pawan Hans from the site as you suggested. Till now success did not kiss my kissmat. God bless you.

  9. @Tarun,
    Well, many of readers of this blog have booked thru the website I gave you.
    Can I know what problem are you facing? For one, I just saw…. you need to open the said site in IE or Netscape. Are you doing so? You are probably using some other browser.

    Let me know…

  10. i am going to vaishno devi on 27/10/10 with my family, this is my 5th trip to vaishno devi, i have always enjoyed going there vaishno devi, it gives me kind of inner peace & stisfaction,it has been almost five year i have been going to vaishno devi and you would not believe i have not been facing problem in my life in terms of everything, so i will advise those people who are looking for inner peace, and sttisfaction, they must visit vaishno devi, then u will relize what kind of satisfaction i am talking about, JAI MAT DI

  11. Thank you all! It was quite informative and hope this would let me enjoy my trip to Vaishno Devi this June thoroughly. I am going to visit the shrine with my parents.

  12. Dear Nisha…

    Thanks for the post… actually I had a query.. do you know if I can pay by SBI debit card via the Gateways of shrine website.. or I have to use credit card… ?


  13. I tried to book the helicopter tickets from the website.Money has ben debited from my account but i am yet to get any confirmation.It has been 3 days.kindly help me out.

  14. @ Subhajit

    There is no need to worry, as the money is debited by Shrine board that reaches ultimately to the helicopter services. The process takes a few day. If there is any transaction failure, shrine board refunds the money in a week. I hope you got the transaction ticket from the Shrine website. If you have that, then I am sure by now you must have received your e ticket from Pawanhans

  15. @Sourish
    I did not get the transaction ticket from the Shrine website.After the payement was done and money was debited,a page (which looked similar to their home page) appeared,but it did not load completely.I waited for 1hr but the same condition prevailed.
    I still havent got neither the confirmation of tickets nor the refund.

    I tried to cal them,but most of the times they were not reachable and when their phone rang they did not receive the call.

  16. Pooja,
    Please note that this site is not a booking site.

    Thank you very much for the latest update on the rates. It’ll help other readers.
    Please do shares your experience after coming back. 🙂

  17. Excellent post.
    We are planning to visit Ma Vaishnodevi on the 7th of December but the tickets from Katra to Sanchichat for that day are not available anymore.Is there any chance we can still get the tickets? Are there any other alternatives??

    However tickets for the return ticket are available(Katra-Sanchhichat-Katra)but the return time of the helicopter doesnt suit us.. Are the timings flexible, as in can we take the helicopter with the departure time of 11 am instead of the helicopter we are thinking to book
    which has the departure time of 8am.? Is it possible?
    Plz do help
    Thank You

  18. I want to travel vaishnodevi by helicopter from katra if you provide any facility then contact me.


    Mobile: 8401******

  19. Balabhai,
    I welcome you on this site but I am not a booking agent. We just guide you what to do

    Sorry, you’ll have do booking yourself. And I’ve not posted your full telephone no. lest….

  20. Hi Nisha,

    Very nice to see that you have replied to each and every question that was asked on your post.

    I too am trying to book the helicopter for my family but it seems like it is very difficult to book now a days as seats are limited per day and number of people want to book is very high.

    I have been trying since 4 days to book the tickets for last available date but its shows “no seats available”. Is this happening with everyone or just me? I wonder if I would get tickets at all or I have to consider trekking option which I don’t want to as my parents might not be able to!!

    Any suggestion??

  21. Hi Nisha,

    i am planning to go for Mata Vaishnodevi darshan on 13th december …

    wanted to check if the helicopter operate normally around this time or are the service disrupted due to fog?

    What would be best time during the day to fly, mor, afternoon or eve?

    Thanks in advance

    Jai Mata Di


  22. Hi,

    We have been reaching Katra on 17th May and I need to book the Helicopter ticket for 3 members from the group of 6.

    I have already tried to book the same by
    However, it seems that there is no availability. Do we have any other option/Vendor details available to book the same.

    Also few of us are walking to Bhawan, so three hours return time is not sufficient in order to accompany the 3 passengers who are flying by helicopter. Can this duration for return travel can be extended and if yes what is the procedure for the same.

    Please advice.

  23. Leena,
    I am sorry, at present I have no idea of it.

    My experience says, once you reach there and book your helicopter tickets, they’ll be able to tell you all.

  24. Hii I had booked ticket for my brother family but i am not able to send him my orignal debit card is that mandatory to carry orignal debit card or we can take scan copy at time of travel

  25. Hiii Mohit Trivedi same has be done by me….what happen when ur brother’s family went there…plz tell me is original debit card required or not…

  26. Hi,

    I have booked tickets for my wife & in laws using my card.

    Can i send them a copy of the card on Whatsaapp or a scan copy that they can print and use.

    Or do they need to carrry the card in original.

    Please share na update.


  27. Hi Dharamvir,
    Yes, you can send them (your wife & in laws) a copy of the card.

    Is the card in your wife’s name as well?

    I don’t think they’ll need the original card if it doesn’t belong to them.

    Please update us after the trip as what exactly is required there.

    Everybody asks questions here but nobody comes back & updates the info. How others will come to know what is required & what is not?

  28. Hi Nisha,

    Thank you for your note.

    Card is in my name, however my wife is carrying her passport which has my name & her parents name

    Logically it should be sufficient, donnow how they manage it real time.

    Will definitely let the group know on the outcome. In the meanwhile, I will also try and get my card shipped across to them.


  29. Hi All,

    I wrote to the board & they have confiremd on e-mail that the card in original is necessary to board the helicopter.

    Same was also confirmed when I called up the help line numbers.

    Given the same, I have used Bluedart express service to get the original card copy across to my family.

    Will also let all know what happens when they get there.


    1. Hi Rahul,
      Once you have collected the privilege passes after getting off the helicopter, you have the option of going by foot or by horses or by Palki. To my last knowledge, the Palki Rate chart at the Sanjhichat Helipad ground was Rs. 2500 for a round way trip of 2½ Kilometer.

      Hope this helps. Do let us know the current rate once you have visited it. Thanks.

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