Helipad at Katra
You can travel by Helicopter upto Sanjichat ( 3 KM from Bhawan ) from Katra and after Darshan of Mata Vaishno Devi return to Katra by Helicopter.
Price: One way ticket cost is Rs 1045/- inclusive of taxes. You can buy ticket both ways also.
Visit online Services at https://www.maavaishnodevi.org/ . Signup and login to book accommodation or helicopter tickets or online Yatra Parchi from this website.
Ticket for the Helicopter ride is available before 60 days and booking opens at 10 AM. Keep your id proof ready before booking. As tickets get exhausted within 1 hour of opening it is better keep your ID numbers and details handy for the booking.
To understand the process of booking it is better you try booking one day before without paying and check the requirements for booking.
Note that demand for ticket is more in upward direction (from Katra to Sanjichat) in morning hours and demand for return flight is more in afternoon hours.
Sanjichat to Bhawan ( 3 KM )
Sanjichat to temple is nearly 2.5 KM and slop is downward. You can walk or hire a horse for Rs 400/- . Step counter shown nearly 5000 steps, and it will take 45 minutes. After 700 meters from Helipad there is a view point. You can see Bhawan temple of Mata Vaishno Devi from here. Break for tea or snacks if you have sufficient time and not in hurry to return. Don’t expose your food packets as monkeys can snatch them. Stay inside the canteen and finish your food, then come out to view point to enjoy the hills and surroundings.
After reaching near temple go to counter number 4 for keeping your belongings including phone and cameras.
Current booking is allowed subject to availability at the counter at the Helipad. You should have valid id proof and take your Yatra Parchi. All group members are to be present.
Online booking ticket print outs with all members with valid id are to be present at counter No 3 and the original credit card by which the booking was done is to be presented.
The boarding tickets are issued after taking weight of each passenger.
Travelling in a group by Helicopter
Even you buy tickets for 6 in one group in one ticket, at the boarding time they will make different groups based on passenger weight and distribute in different batches. Though the number of passengers are shown as 6 in one trip, some time they take 4 in one as they accommodate co-pilots on the trip. However it does not matter much as the actual flight duration is 6 minutes in up direction and 4 minutes in down direction, so you can just wait for 15 or 20 minutes if any of your group member is accommodated in next trip.
If you have not taken your Yatri Parchi ( Journey Permit ) before then there is a counter at Helicopter station to get your Yatra Parchi. Some Yatri Prachi are available online also. In busy time it is always advisable to take Yatra Prachi in advance.
Same day return by Helicopter.
If you have a return ticket in same day, then after reaching top at ( Sanjichat ) go to counter number 3 to take VIP pass. This pass is issued if you have same day return ticket. Keep your belonging like camera , phone , small bags at counter No 4 and use Gate No 5 to entry into the que for Darshan. This joins main que after some distance so reduces the waiting period.
Try to reach the helipad in your allotted time, however they may consider if you are delayed by 15 or 30 minutes, you can enquiry at counter at Sanjichat about your return time.
We had a departure time at 10.20 but our actual departure time was delayed by 30 minutes even though we reached Katra Helipad two hours before.
Helipad is closed at 5 PM at Sanjichat, you need to be hurry and try to reach much before that. Check your reporting time in your ticket.
Photography and videography is strictly prohibited inside and around the helipad. During the flight you have to switch off your phones.