If you are willing to shell out 10000 bucks, you can forget about the 40 Kms scenic but tiresome trek between Govindghat and Ghangria. You can now fly between these places in just 10 minutes. Delhi based Prabhatam Aviation will be starting helicopter services between Govindghat and Ghangria from 1st June, 2007.
This means that one day's trek of 20 km one way can now be covered in just 10 minutes. I had enquired with the company for rates. It is not cheap, but may be worth. Rates are as under:
Both way trip : Rs.9900
One way trip : Rs.5500 (rate same for both up and down trip)
Capacity of the helicopter is 6 persons. No discounts for Child or Senior Citizens.
This means that, for going to Valley of Flowers, you will have to trek only the 5 km distance from Govindghat to Valley of Flowers. The climb to Hemkund Sahib is mich steeper. If you take both ways trip, you may be able to save two days.
Here are the phone nos of Prabhatam Aviation in Delhi :
Office and booking: 011-23516803
Mobiles: 9312233234 and 9313818979
Prabhatam Aviation had already started similar service between Phata and Kedarnath shrine. However, there were protests by local political groups against this service as it will affect the livlihood of many local who depends on visitors. Even this one may face protests at the begining.