11 Sep :Pawan Hans Helicopters Ltd. (PHHL) has resumed daily helicopter services (post monsoon) to the Kedarnath Shrine from today. It is deploying a 5 seater Bell 407 helicopter from two places in Uttarakhand – Augustmuni & Phata. The services will be available tentatively upto 22 October, 2008.
Augustmuni is located 17 kms. beyond Rudraprayag en-route to Kedarnath. Rudraprayag is around 140 kms. from Rishikesh and is linked by good motor able roads. The service originates from the helipad located at a playground in Augustmuni. The flying time is around 45 minutes for a round trip (Augustmuni – Kedarnath – Augustmuni).
To further facilitate the pilgrims, PHHL has constructed a helipad at Phata, which is around 50 kms. from Augustmuni enroute to Kedarnath and 18 kms. short of Gaurikund. The distance from Gaurikund to Kedarnath is 14 kms. track, which is to be covered by the pilgrims on foot, Palki or by Mule. By providing the facility of helicopter services from Phata, the flying time has been reduced to 20 minutes for a round trip (Phata – Kedarnath – Phata).