Sabarimala: The helipad of the upcoming helicopter service to Sabarimala in Kerala's Pathanamthitta district would be located at Naranam Thottil, which is 4 km away from Nilakkal, the base camp of the popular Lord Ayyappa temple.
Though the aviation service provider Sabari Service had contacted the Travancore Devaswom Board over using the board's helipad at Nilakkal, a favourable decision was not forthcoming so far. Therefore, the private company has decided to set up its own helipad at Naranam Thottil.
The company plans to take the pilgrims arriving at the Cochin International Airport at Nedumbassery to Nilakkal and back.
The helipad at the Kochi end would come up at Kalady, which is 10 km from Nedumbassery. The company would arrange for transport facility from Nedumbassery to Kalady.
The ride in one direction may be over in 35 minutes. The aviation company plans to conduct 12 services in a day.
Four people, including the pilot, can board the 38-feet-three-inch-long helicopter.
The service would be offered during the annual pilgrimage season (Mandalakalam) which is often from mid-November to mid-January.
The services of a guide would also be available from Naranam Thottil to Sannidhanam at Sabarimala.
The ticket rate (up-and-down) for one person is Rs 29,500. For online booking, email to firstname.lastname@example.org.