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8-minute Panchakosi Parikrama by Helicopter

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blog-0330389001417019900.jpgVrindavan, 2014.11.25 (TOI): A helicopter service will be launched on December 4 to ferry pilgrims on a ” parikrama” (circle) of the holy town in just eight minutes.

The Agra-based Jet Star Charter and Helicopter Services will use the helipad developed for President Pranab Mukherjee when he visited Vrindavan to lay the foundation stone of the world’s tallest Sri Krishna temple on the Akshay Patra campus.

Yogesh Singh Choudhary, director of the company, said initially the chopper service would be available for a quick parikrama of the town but later, if the UP government permits, service to Agra could be extended.

The fare fixed for a trip is Rs 2,700 per person for conducting a “parikrama” of the Panchkoshi.

On foot, it takes about four hours to complete the 15-km “parikrama”.

This is the second time the facility is being launched in the city. In November 2012, Pawan Hans had started a daily service from Indira Gandhi Airport in Delhi to Vrindavan. Jayant Choudhary, then Mathura MP, had flagged off the service which could not run for long due to lack of patronage by “touch and go” pilgrims. The one-way fare from Delhi was then fixed at Rs 4,000.

Meanwhile, residents besides “pandas” and conservationists are unhappy with the moves being made to “‘urbanize” Vrindavan. “Neither the move to make Vrindavan a tourist spot nor to change its original rustic flavor will succeed. The fervor of visiting temples cannot be matched with an aerial view. The numerous saints and ascetics living in Braj mandal are not too happy with the move to modernize the traditional landscape of the holy town,” said Dhananjay Gautam and Jagannath Poddar, social activists.

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