About Kedarnath: One of the 12 Jyotirlingams in India, Kedarnath is where the hump of Lord Shiva resides. According to legend he turned himself into a bull when pursued by the Pandavas who wished to obtain his forgiveness and split his body into five parts, each now forming part of the Panch Kedars. Pilgrims worship the Shiv linga in the temple said to have been built under the directions of Adi Sankaracharya in the 8th century.
Badrinath temple: One of the major chardhams in India, Badrinath takes its name after the Badri trees that used to be in abundance in the valley. Lord Vishnu meditated for ages and Laxmi Devi assumed the form of a Badri tree to shelter him. The temple is sheltered by the Nar and Narayan mountain ranges with the Neelkanth forming a majestic backdrop.
6.00 AM Depart Harsil for Kedarnath
7.00 AM Arrive at Kedarnath helipad
The one hour flight gives pilgrims a heavenly view of the majestic splendour of the Himalayan landscape, truly the land of Gods. The flight lands at Sitapur Phata and pilgrims get into another helicopter for travel onwards to Kedarnath where ground staff welcome them and take them for priority darshan with VIP passes (cost included) at Kedarnath temple. Pilgrims can bathe in the Mandakini River before entering the temple, a necessary ritual here.
Whereas a foot journey would involve trek over 15 km, the helicopter lands just 500 metres from Kedarnath and what would take a whole day is done within an hour or so.
9.00 AM Depart Guptkashi helipad
10.00 AM Arrival at Badrinath helipad
Once again pilgrims get to admire the bewitching beauty of the landscape before landing close to the Badrinath temple. On arrival ground staff member drive pilgrims in a car for priority darshan at the temple. The ceremonial rituals complete, pilgrims once again return to the helicopter feeling absolutely fulfilled by a darshan of the idol of Lord Vishnu in the Badrinath temple.
12.40 PM Depart Badrinath
1.30 PM Arrive at Sahastradhara
A soul satisfying chardham yatra by helicopter ends as pilgrims land at Sahastradhara helipad where ground staff assists them with onward transportation for their return journey home and bid them a fond farewell.