Kargil, Photograph Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
The Himalayan hills and mountains of northern India have always beckoned adventurers and travelers. Rail connectivity has always been a problem in the mountains, though, and are seen as more of a novelty and tourist attraction where it actually exists. Roads have long been the lifeline of the region, but the government’s UDAN scheme will soon connect towns around the Himalayan hills and mountains by air. CHECK OUT: Air Deccan All Set to Start UDAN flights in Northeast India from December 2017 Also Read - You Will Want to Visit Ladakh After Listening to Travel Blogger Ami Bhat Share Her Experience
The government has continued to move forward with its UDAN scheme to connect the more remote parts of India together by flights. Its latest announcement is the addition of 73 new helipads and airports across India, including place like Kasauli and Kargil, this year. Kargil has become a tourist destination in its own right. It was the site of the 1999 India-Pakistan war, and as such it already has a small military airstrip. This same airstrip will be used for civil flights, the government’s second attempt since the ill-fated Mantra Airways in 2013. Also Read - Amid Lockdown, ITBP Escorts 900 Supply Trucks to Kargil From Zoji La in Ladakh
The next part of UDAN, aptly called UDAN-2, will also cover towns like Pakyong in Sikkim, Kasauli in Himachal Pradesh and Tezu in Arunachal Pradesh. Within Himachal Pradesh itself, helicopter taxis will be connecting Kasauli to Shimla as well as Kullu to Manali and Shimla, Dharamsala to Mandi and Mandi to Rampur, among others. And all these flights will be offered for fares less than INR 2,500, as per the scheme. ALSO READ: Delhi to Shimla flights now at just Rs 2500, PM Modi all set to flag off first UDAN flight
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Another state that is set to get better air connectivity is Uttarakhand: a total of 15 airports are planned for this hilly state by the foot of the Himalayas. Hilly towns are the focus this time around, but other small destinations further south are also being targeted, like Lakshadweep and Kannur in Kerala. Other destinations in focus are Moreh and Jiribam in Manipur and Kishangarh in Rajasthan.