Amarnath Yatra to begin from July 1

The 46-day-long annual pilgrimage to the Amarnath cave shrine in south Kashmir would begin on July 1 from Pahalgam and Baltal routes in Anantnag and Ganderbal districts respectively.

The yatra this year would commence on Masik Shivratri, according to the Hindu calendar, and would conclude on 15 August, the day of Shravan Purnima and Raksha Bandhan festival.

More than 50,000 people have already registered themselves for this year’s yatra since April 1, the first day for registration.

The online booking of helicopter tickets for yatra would commence on May 1 at 10am.

This year Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) has made arrangements with Global Vectra Helicorps Ltd. and Himalayan Heli Services Pvt. Ltd. on the Neelgrath (Baltal)-Panjtarni-Neelgrath (Baltal) route and UTair India Pvt. Ltd. on the Pahalgam-Panjtarni-Pahalgam route.

Umang Narula, Chief Executive Officer SASB, said that online booking facility would be available from May 1 on the website of the companies.

“Based on competitive bidding, the one way per passenger helicopter fare for Neelgrath (Baltal)-Panjtarni  has been fixed at Rs1804. Similarly, the one-way Pahalgam-Panjtarni fare will be Rs 3104,” the CEO said.

Narula said yatris who plan to travel by helicopter do not require advance registration as their helicopter tickets shall suffice for this purpose.

However, all such yatris would not be allowed to board a chopper unless they produce the Compulsory Health Certificate issued by an authorised doctor and notified by their respective state governments.

These yatris would have to furnish Compulsory Health Certificates at the time of boarding the helicopter at Neelgrath or Pahalgam. Without the certificates, boarding passes will not be issued to them.

The CEO advised yatris to get helicopter tickets only from the aforesaid authorised helicopter operators or their authorized agents and not to fall prey to unscrupulous elements who might mislead them and try to sell fake tickets.

The details of the agents authorised by the helicopter operators to issue tickets will be available under the link of helicopter operators on the SASB website