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Thursday, 30 April 2015

Amarnath Yatra 2015


Spiritual Sojourns with Vivek Mahajan:
Amarnath Yatra 2015

 The Amarnath shrine, is a beautiful cave situated at an altitude of 3888 m (12,756 ft) in the Sonmarg valley, Kashmir. Accessible from Baltal valley to its east and Pahalgam to its south, the trek to the cave is rife with snow clad mountains, deep endless valleys, and glaciers. Our Ultimate Travel Jockey, Vivek Mahajan went onto this Yatra for a surreal experience. 
   
Q. Tell us something about your trip to the Amarnath cave? 
            
I trekked up to Amarnath last year as a Travel Jockey for FareHawker. It was quite different             from other treks that I have done in the past to Himachal and Uttarakhand. The weather to,                   begin with, was too fickle. It takes minutes to change a sunny afternoon, into overcast weather             with cold breeze flowing rapidly. That apart,  it is quite a beautiful trek. The view of the                   Machoi glacier is nothing short of spectacular. Also, the trails along the sind river is rife with a very interesting terrain particularly during the autumn.

Q. What is Ultimate Travel Jockey? How does it fit into the scheme of what FareHawker does?

Farehawker specializes in Group Bookings. And sometimes, we get queries when the group wants to not only book with us, but want us to design the entire travel experience for them, and sometimes, even to accompany them as co-travellers and explore the place... This is where our Travel Jockey comes in! Simply put, an ultimate travel jockeys are your travel partner, who themselves have traveled widely and are very well aware of various destinations and changing terrains. They may or may not travel along with you, depending on what services have you asked of them, but be rest assured, they will give you an amazing sense of place.

Q. Who are the Ultimate Travel Jockeys associated with FareHawker?

Our Team comprises of Ex-Airliners, Helicopters industry professional, Air Charter professionals and Travel Photojournalists who have a combined experience of over 34 years in the Travel Industry. We share a collective passion for travel and charting into the unknown while being fully committed towards making the trip both, economical and pleasurable for our customers. 

Q. Tell us something about the Yatra itself?

Well, Amarnath Yatra is something that is very dear to us. We have been associated with Amarnath Yatra in various ways for a very long time now. Last year itself, we had registered close to 900 bookings throughout the Yatra season from 2nd July to the 29th August. Our Helicopter booking are open in full swing throughout this season. Not only that, we have group bookings from various parts of the country to Srinagar and Pahalgam which are the starting points of the journey up to Amarnath. It is a 2 nights 3 days event wherein pilgrims, travelers, trekkers, nature lovers join us upto the cave. And, this year we are trying to up the ante, by offering a lot more services than before. Our Helicopter and Air Charter services are already open for the Yatra. It is just April and we already have 400 people who have registered with us. 

Q. What are the Helicopter services like? How do they work?

Well, we happen to know various people in the private jet industry and that's how we can get access to the ideal private jet and/or Helicopter services to several destinations. Over the year we observed that there was a serious need for a competent facilitator who not only understands these requirements but also have an in depth knowledge of aviation industry entirely, so as to provide a fair and a real services to our clients. To book your services, you simply have to get in touch with us and we will take care of your request with as little as four hours notice. (Our email ids, and contact numbers are provided at the end of this interview)

Q. And from where does the Helicopter ride start, for the trip to Amarnath? 

The ride starts from Neelgrath and ends at Panjtarni from where the Holy Cave is not very far. We traverse through the SIndh river, over the Himalayan vistas. The view is quite beautiful. 

Q. What if the people want to sign up only for the Helicopter services and not the travel packages?      Or vice versa.

Well, that's fine too. Like I said earlier, we are committed to travel industry in every department. If       someone wants to have an experience of Air Charter with private airlines or Helicopter services, we would be happy to offer them that. If some want to vouch in only for the package deals, then we will accommodate that. We also offer group bookings so as to facilitate economical travel packages. We understand the diverse needs of our fellow travelers and we try our best to accommodate all of their needs. 

Q. And the kinds of trip itinerary available.

Four various kinds. We have our trips starting from 16,999 on wards which is inclusive of  air travel, local travel, accommodation and three meals. Not just that, if people want us to design an itinerary according to their specific needs, we are more than willing to accommodate that.

Q. What future plans for FareHawker?

To expand further into the Travel industry and be among the leading travel search engine portals in India and make our presence felt on a global market as well. That apart, we are actively developing our new program- Ultimate Travel Jockey which will see the light of the day this year itself. All in all we're happy to work and constantly create better travel experiences.

The pristine Sonmarg valley from where our journey upto Amarnath begins...

Panjtarni Helipad

The magnificent view of the Sheshnag Lake en route Panjtarni 

The pilgrims en route the Mahagunas Top

Our Helicopter as it takes of from Neelgrath
The view of the Holy Cave

The Shivlinga 

The Helicopter route for the Yatra




Vivek Mahajan, is the Business Development Manager at FareHawker who has personally supervised every detail, of the Amarnath trip. An avid traveler, and a biker who has himself scaled the caves, four times in the past.
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