Uttarakhand, the land of gods and mountains, is all set to launch a new adventure tourism attraction by the end of this month. The state will offer India’s first-ever gyrocopter safari, which will allow tourists to enjoy the aerial views of the majestic Himalayan peaks and valleys.
A gyrocopter is a small aircraft that resembles a helicopter, but has no engine to turn the rotors. Instead, the rotors spin due to the airflow as the gyrocopter moves forward. This makes it more stable and maneuverable than a helicopter, and also more affordable and eco-friendly.
The gyrocopter safari will be operated by a private sports company, in collaboration with the state tourism department. The service will start from Rishikesh, the spiritual and adventure capital of India, and will cover various scenic destinations such as Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath, Badrinath, and Nanda Devi.
A milestone for adventure tourism in India
The gyrocopter safari is not only the first of its kind in India, but also in South Asia. It will mark a significant milestone for the adventure tourism industry in the country, which has been growing rapidly in recent years.
According to Manish Saini, the CEO of the company overseeing the air safari, the gyrocopter will offer a distinctive and exhilarating experience to the tourists, who will be able to witness the natural beauty of Uttarakhand from a bird’s-eye perspective. He said that the company has been conducting air safaris in Rishikesh since 2014, with the support of the state government.
The gyrocopter can accommodate two passengers, along with the pilot, and can fly at a speed of up to 160 kmph. The duration and cost of the safari will vary depending on the destination and the package chosen by the tourists.
A boost for the state’s tourism sector
The launch of the gyrocopter safari is expected to boost the tourism sector of Uttarakhand, which has been recovering from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The state is known for its rich cultural, religious, and natural heritage, and attracts millions of visitors every year.
The state tourism minister, Satpal Maharaj, said that the government is committed to facilitating accessible and seamless journeys for tourists, with a specific focus on promoting adventure sports and pilgrimage. He also announced plans for developing Adi Kailash and Om Parvat as Shiva Nagari, and Corbett and Sitabani as a comprehensive animal kingdom.
The tourism secretary, Sachin Kurve, highlighted the contribution of the tourism sector to the state and the country’s GDP, and cited Uttarakhand’s recognition as the safest destination for female travelers.
The state also has a huge potential for astro-tourism, as suggested by Ramashish Ray, the founder of Star Scape, a company that operates 64 observatories across the country, including one in Kausani. He urged the government to tap into the unexplored celestial wonders of Uttarakhand, and develop it as a source of employment and revenue generation.