Incessant rains for the past few weeks have disrupted life in Uttarakhand, leaving numerous roads in the state in a state of disrepair. Faithful pilgrims are not left behind in the face of such difficulties. The Kedarnath pilgrimage is witnessing a surge in numbers, even as the shrine recently opened its doors to worshipers after a two-day closure last week.
In view of the ongoing road construction, air transport has emerged as the preferred mode of reaching the esteemed destination. The official website of the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) on Tuesday (August 22) started the process of booking helicopter services for the upcoming month of September. According to the official website: “Bookings for travel from September 1, 2023 to September 30, 2023 will open on August 22, 2023 at 12:00 PM.”
A comprehensive guide to this booking system:
- Registration for Kedarnath Yatra/Char Dham Yatra: Individuals need to register for Kedarnath Yatra to start the booking process. This includes providing necessary personal information and data.
- Visit IRCTC Helicopter Booking Website: After successful registration, applicants have to visit the official IRCTC helicopter booking website. Click here to visit the website.
- Create a Unique Login ID: Applicants must create a unique login ID on the booking site. This step involves creating a personal account for the ordering process.
- Select Helicopter Operator, Date and Time Slot: Once the login ID has been set, users proceed to select their preferred helicopter operator, desired travel date and suitable time slot for travel.
- Provide passenger details: Applicants are required to provide information on the number of passengers who will be traveling. This step includes specifying the number of people accompanying them.
- Receive OTP and enter: After filling the details of the passenger, the system generates a one-time password (OTP) and sends it to the registered mobile number of the applicant. OTP serves as an additional security measure.
- Enter OTP and verify: The received OTP must be entered accurately on the website to proceed. This verification step verifies the authenticity of the user.
- Ticket payment: After successful OTP verification, the order process moves to the payment stage. Users are requested to pay the ticket price online for the helicopter tour of their choice.
Kedarnath Helicopter Ticket Prices:
Helicopter companies charge between Rs 5,495 and Rs 7,740 for a same-day round trip to Kedarnath Dham. Fares are subject to dynamic changes based on Uttarakhand Civil Aviation Development Authority (UCADA) policies, with additional convenience charges and payment gateway charges.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about IRCTC HeliYatra:
Q: What is a Booking ID?
Helicopter Booking ID is a reference number issued by IRCTC for confirmed bookings. This unique identifier helps the helicopter service provider to assist customers.
Q: From which Helicopter Stations can Helicopter Services be booked?
According to IRCTC, helicopter services can be booked for Shri Kedarnath Dham from Sersi, Phata and Guptakashi.
Q: Can group reservations be made?
Yes, a maximum of six passengers can be booked in one transaction under the registered User ID/Group ID/Booker ID.
Q: How many tickets can be booked with a single User/Order ID?
IRCTC allows a maximum of two helicopter tickets per User/Booker ID accommodating up to six passengers (06 Number) per ticket. Thus, a User/Booker can book for a group of maximum 12 passengers on two tickets using one User ID/Booker ID.
Q: What Payment Options Are Available?
There are many payment options available on the IRCTC website including Credit/Debit Cards, UPI and Net Banking. Users can also opt for EMI/Pay Later options through platforms like Paytm, Razorpay and ICICI.
Q: What are the mandatory documents to carry during Yatra?
According to the IRCTC website, the following documents are required from the passengers:
a) valid ticket
b) Original ID for each passenger (choose from options like Aadhaar, Voter ID, PAN Card, Passport and Driving License)
c) Birth certificate for Child/Infant submitted at the time of online helicopter booking.
Q: What are the Weight Regulations for Helicopter Services?
As mentioned on the website, the weight of the passengers (Adult, Child and Infant) will be measured by the Helicopter Operator before issuing the boarding pass. The weight of the baby will be added to the weight of the accompanying passenger. Co-passengers or co-passengers with infants weighing more than 80 Kgs will incur an additional charge of Rs. 150/kg for excess weight. Weight calculation will be done on an individual basis and cannot be substituted for another passenger or infant. Passengers who refuse to pay the extra weight fee may be refused boarding.
Q: How much weight can be carried during a yatra?
Each passenger is allowed to carry only one piece of luggage with a maximum weight of 2 kilograms. Any additional pieces of baggage exceeding this limit will not be allowed.