Helicopter Service for Gangtok, Sikkim


Gangtok - Bagdogra - Gangtok Helcopter Service

Do you know that you can actually avoid the tiring four &áhalf hour road journey along the winding uphill road from Bagdogra to Gangtok or the other way? You can instead take a helicopter ride from Bagdogra Airport to reach Gangtok easily and comfortably, and/or return. 
Not only that, once you reach Gangtok, you can take the Helicopter service for aerial sightseeing tours and see the mind blowing Himalayan terrain and the majestic snow capped mountains from the sky at a close distance. And all that for a reasonable price. 
Helicopter service between Bagdogra and Gangtok 
The helicopter service (known as Pawan Hans) is operated by the Sikkim Tourism Development Corporation (STDC) which is a division of Sikkim state government. A helicopter can take a maximum of five persons. A child who occupies a seat counts as a person. 
The service is reliable but takes place subject to prevailing weather conditions. Once you reach the helipad at Gangtok, the town is a short taxi ride from there. Gangtok Helipad is located at Burtuk (lower Burtuk road) and about 4.2kms from Gangtok town. It takes 15-20 minutes by taxi to reach the main township of Gangtok from the Helipad. Taxis will be available outside the helipad. 
From Bagdogra, the helicopter flight takes about 35 minutes to reach Gangtok and vice versa. Actually the flight comes from Gangtok and returns daily. 
Bagdogra to Gangtok: 2:30pm (duration: 35 minutes) 
Gangtok to Bagdogra: 11am (duration: 35 minutes) 
  • Flights are subject to weather conditions and reservations by VIPs. 
  • Timings can and do change. So call up (numbers given below) and check for the current timings. 
    Per person rate: 3,500/- (Fare updated: March 2022) 
    Luggage Limit 
    Only 10kg of luggage is allowed per person. Additional luggage will not be allowed even at extra cost. So you must travel light in order to take the helicopter service. Alternatively, you can send your extra luggage to your hotel in Gangtok by taxi while you travel by helicopter. Many do so, but I have heard about cases where bags or items in the bags were stolen. So if you want to take the second option, do contact the STDC office that administers the helicopter flights and arrange the taxi through them. 
    Helicopter booking counter at Bagdogra Airport 
    How to book Bagdogra-Gangtok Helicopter ride? 
    You should ideally book the Sikkim helicopter service in advance. Call up an STDC number in Gangtok between 10am to 5pm and check availability 
    Phone: 03592-203960 
    Mobiles: 09475011220, 09775901379, 09775952722 
    Once they let you know that seats are available, you will be required to deposit the money through bank transfers (manually or electronically). 
    Here is the Bank Details: STDC A/C AXIS Bank, Account Number: 911010038948444 (Do verify this over phone). You will then need to scan the deposit slip and email it to them to get final confirmation of the seats (Email: [email protected]; [email protected]
    You can also book the seats once you land up at Bagdogra airport. However that will be subject to availability. There is a counter outside and next to the entry of departure hall. During high season, it may be difficult to get seats at the airport. However in off season seats are usually available. You can book the entire flight if you so want. For that you must pay up cost for all the five seats. 
    In case the flight gets cancelled, you will get full refund. You can either get it in Gangtok itself or from their head office who would bank transfer the amount. 
    NOTE: Usually 4 out of the 5 seats can be booked in advance and the 5th seat is released on the day of the flight. This is to take care of any emergency requirement or a VIP demand. 

    Helicopter Sightseeing Tour of Sikkim

    (Fare updated: March 2022) 
    Well, once you reach Gangtok, you can take some amazing tours on the helicopter. These are called special mountain flights. They are not set tours and therefore have no set costs. All these tours are conducted on request. If there are other passengers on the same flight, then the package cost gets shared. If you are the only one (or only couple or family) in the flight, you will need to pay for the entire flight. But usually you will find enough company during high tourist seasons, and the package cost works out quite reasonable. 
    The most popular is the 15 minutes tour to fly over Gangtok and see its wonderful landscapes from the sky, the winding roads, the alleyways, the houses and more. You will see the Rumtek Monastery, Gangtok Ridge etc. If there are four persons in the flight, then an average package cost per person comes to about Rs. 2500/- otherwise you can charter the flight for Rs. 9,500/-. 
    Another excellent helicopter sightseeing tour is of Kanchenjungha, the third highest peak in the world. The flight route is from Gangtok and going over Mangan, Chungthang, Lachen, Zemu Glacier, Green Lake and back to Gangtok via Lachen. As you fly, you will be awestruck with the size of Kanchenjungha and its beauty. Some of the other key attractions on this route includes the view of Teesta Valley between Mangan &áLachen, the Lachen Monastery, the amazing sights of the Zemu glacier and so on. This flight takes about 1 hour and conducted on request. Charter Fare: Rs. 96,000/-  
    While in Gangok, if you do not get the opportunity to visit Tsomgo lake due to want of time, you have the option of hovering above it on the helicopter. Fare: Rs. 18,990/- for four persons. 
    Alternatively you can choose to fly over the Mount Siniolchu, arguably one of the most beautiful peaks of the Himalayas. You will be amazed by the symmetry of the peak. 
    There is also a pilgrimage flight which shows you Char Dham (at Namchi), Tathangata Tsal, Samdruptse, Sai Mandir. Charter fare: Rs-25,000/-. 
    Once you have taken one of the mountain flights (sightseeing tours), you will be given a certificate of participation by the Sikkim Tourism Development Corporation. 
    How to book Helicopter sightseeing tour? 
    You can book through Helicopter booking counter at Bagdogra airport (located near departure point), or at the STDC office in Gangtok. If you want to book well in advance, call up STDC (Phone: 03592- 203960, Mobiles: 09475011220, 09775901379, 09775952722). They will let you know the position and ask you to bank transfer the fare. 

    Recommended Resources

  • The eBook on Darjeeling &áSikkim is a great resource to plan your tour and get deep insights into various attractions of Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Sikkim including trips, tours and rides. 

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    Visitors' Reviews/Comments

    Ravi C (December 2023) 
    request you for information regarding Helicopter ride between Bagdora Airport and Gangtok and return after 3 days. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) December 2023 
    Helicopter service between Bagdogra and Gangtok is currently suspended. The service has remained non-operational for the past one year. It is not known when the service may resume. 
    Wieslaw Sliwak, Poland (July 2022) 
    Dear Sir, I am interested in helicopter tour to Kanchendzoga as I cold read on your web page: *Kanchendzonga Mountain Flight Chartered Rs. 96000 (Rs. 1200/minute)*. Is it possible to book for November? What should I do first? Regards, 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) July 2022 
    Hello, Ours is only an informational website. You need to get in touch with STDC and make the reservations. They do not apparently have an email service for this, and it could be difficult to coordinate the reservation from outside India because one needs to make the payment through a bank transfer. 
    Sarosh Saeed (February 2020) 
    We are a family of four adults, two kids aged six and nine and an infant. Can all these people be adjusted in a single helicopter? 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) February 2020 
    No. Only 5 seats can be occupied in a helicopter. 
    K. Seetharama Prasad (October 2019) 
    It was on Sept 17th., that we took ride in helicopter. It was wonderful ride and cherish the experience for a life time. The breathtaking views from vantage points are exhilarating. God and STDC have been kind to us. As some great writer said, to experience this ride, whole universe has to conspire for you. Lot of things are out of our control. 
    Initially I was reluctant to book the ride because too many issues. The feed back in the website wasn't too encouraging. But one of our friends has insisted on taking a chance. Since we get our deposit refund in full it is best to take a chance. We hit the bulls eye. STDC has been cooperative from the beginning. They are not like a private operators who can be polite, business like and forthcoming. But they have been doing the best they can. It was blessing in disguise for us because there were landslides on the road to Gangtok just before our trip had started. 
    I suggest readers few points... Need patience and persistence to make the ride real. Need blessings from weather god. Luggage and body weight restrictions do pose few problems, but STDC was kind enough to allow four of us in one ride without booking fifth ticket due to our body weights. Better to try land line numbers than cell numbers. All the best for a wonderful ride. 
    Sindhu Akil (October 2019) 
    We were really excited for the chopper service for the honeymoon trip. We did our booking for Sep 12th through online and the cost was transferred. Unfortunately due to bad weather the chopper got cancelled. Adding to the disappointment the refund is not made still. Highly dissatisfied. The contact no. is having no response. 
    Suman Gupta (October 2018) 
    Hi We three me and my daughter and granddaughter are reaching Gangtok airport Pakyong on 4/11/18 and will leave on 10/11/2018. We want to take the Kanchanganga helicopter flight full charter within 5/11 to 9/11. To see the local sights do we need to take the local helicopter tour in addition or it can be shown in the main tour? I suppose we have to transfer money in advance. Is it okay if I do it say about a week in advance? 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) October 2018 
    Hi, you need to talk to the helicopter booking staff to check if they will allow any deviation in the chartered flight to cover places other than what is stipulated. Unless you pay up the flight fare, it won't be confirmed. So earlier you pay, earlier you get the confirmation. 
    Dawn Oakley-Wise (August 2018) 
    Hello. I note you cannot take more than 10kg on the helicopter transfer to darjeeling and cannot pay extra to take more. Can you book more seats in order to take the luggage? There will be 2 of us, but could we book 4 seats to ensure the luggage can go too? thank you. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) August 2018 
    Hi, there is no helicopter to Darjeeling. It operates to Gangtok. Being public flights, they usually book one seat against one individual. The booking process is manual. You need to talk to them over phone and figure out if you can book extra seats to carry extra luggage. 
    Dr Pandya (April 2018) 
    3 mobile numbers:- 09475011220, 09775901379, 09775952722. The first one doesn't answer. The second one keeps disconnecting and the third one answers the call first (probably by mistake) and puts it aside and I can hear multiple voices communicating with each other. I disconnect and re-dial the very next second. No one answers now! This state of affairs is exactly what earns Indian tourism esp. the ones taking you to Sikkim, a very bad name! They don't respond to emails and don't pick up calls. I don't suppose this service in anyway is meant for tourists. It's only for Netas and VIPs as is repeatedly mentioned on the site here. My uncle from the States had the same problem while booking. He wanted to take helicopter trips. But this behaviour made him go to Kerala later and cancel Sikkim. 
    Ed Hanley (November 2017) 
    Hello! I'm wondering if it's possible to book, or make inquiries, about the Bagdogra-Gangtok helicopter via email? We are in Canada so telephoning is complicated until we arrive in India on Dec 4. Thanks! 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) November 2017 
    Hi, you can email to [email protected] or [email protected] for inquiries (don't think they are quite efficient with email service). For helicopter seat reservation, you need to transfer the booking amount to their bank account and then call them up for confirmation. So you can not eventually avoid a phone call. 
    Akansha (June 2017) 
    Dear Sir, I am visiting Gangtok in June. I am planning to take a chopper from Bagdogra to Gangtok. Can you please tell me where does the chopper land in Gangtok? 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) June 2017 
    The helipad is located at Lower Burtuk Road, about 15-20 minute drive from Gangtok town. 
    Vidhya V (March 2017) 
    I am planning to take the helicopter to reach Gangtok from Bagdogra. I wish to know how is the sight in this trip. Is this some what related to what we can see in the below trip.. 
    "The most popular is the 15 minutes tour to fly over Gangtok and see its wonderful landscapes from the sky, the winding roads, the alleyways, the houses and more. You will see the Rumtek Monastery, Gangtok Ridge etc. If there are four persons in the flight, then an average package cost per person comes to about Rs. 2500/- otherwise you can charter the flight for Rs. 9,500/" 
    Thank you for your service and the amount of info in this website. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) March 2017 
    You can see tea gardens followed by mountain landscapes and Teesta river etc during the flight and while approaching Gangtok, the sight would be somewhat similar to what is mentioned in the other local sightseeing flight. 
    Gautam (March 2017) 
    Hi Raj. We are planning to come in May this year. Would like to áask if my flight is reaching at 2pm , áshould we book helicopter to Gangtok which is scheduled at 2.30 ? If flight gets delay for some reason whether helicopter wait for us ? 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) March 2017 
    Hi, helicopter won't wait as it is not a connection. You should not book helicopter with such small time gap between the two. 
    Philip (January 2017) 
    Is this service so unreliable like what Alan mentioned. I can imagine how we Indians are taken for a ride. I was planning to take the helicopter for my travel in march for 4 pax and infant. Any experience here if they leave on time. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) January 2017 
    The service is okay provided there are no issues on the day of the flight. And the issues could be with the weather, technical snags or last minute notice by a VIP availing the flight. 
    Saqib Zameer (August 2016) 
    Hi I just want to know where should I board the helicopter and what is the distance between Bagdogra airport to the place where we want to board. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) August 2016 
    There is only one airport at Bagdogra and you will board the helicopter from there itself. It requires a short walk over the tarmac to reach up to the helicopter. If you arrive at Bagdogra by flight and want to catch the next helicopter, you need to come out of the arrival area and enter through the departure entry which are adjacent to each other in the same building. Departure formalities are similar to any other flight. 
    Alan Wilson (May 2016) 
    Would not recommend the helicopter service from Bagdogra to Gangtok as it is unreliable. áWe booked and paid 3 months in advance. Arrived at the airport on time, with clear blue skies, checked-in in English, got our tickets and waited (Date &áTime of scheduled flight: 11th April 2016, 2:30pm). Then our helicopter was cancelled due to bad weather (it was clear blue skies in Gangtok as well). They wouldn't talk to us, instead would only talk to our guide in Indian and pretended they could not speak English to us. Got our money back, but we were left having to walk out of the airport and find a tourist taxi to take us. Then exactly the same thing happened to us on our return trip - helicopter cancelled (Date &áTime of scheduled flight: 16th April 2016, 10am). 
    Kunal (April 2016) 
    Hi Raj, Is the helipad at the Bagdogra Airport? I want to catch the 11:30 heli service from Gangtok to Bagdogra. My flight departure is at 13:15, will I be able to catch it? 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) April 2016 
    Hi, yes the helicopter lands at Bagdogra airport. You need to exit from the arrival lounge and enter the departure area which is adjacent to it and in the same building. So you can catch your flight. 
    Padma Rao (March 2015) 
    We are 9 adults and 5 chidren from 5-10 years and two below 3 years, can we all come from Gangtok to Bagdogra by helicopter? how many helicopters are available and how many trips they make in a day? 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) March 2015 
    One helicopter and 2 round trips. Capacity is five persons including child. Weight limit is 10kg per person (strict). 
    A Raghava (April 2014) 
    Hi Raj, Thanks for this forum - it is quite helpful and well detailed. I would like to check if the Helipad in Bagdogra is in the same premises as of the airport ? We have booked a ride from gangtok to Bagdogra - wanted to know if we will reach the airport directly. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) April 2014 
    Yes, the helicopter lands at the same Bagdogra airport. Come out of the arrival lounge at the ground floor and depart through the departure lounge upstairs in the same building for your onward journey. 
    Ali Alkhuder (March 2014) 
    Hello. I am from Kuwait, my name Ali Alkhuder. I will visit Darjeeling and Gangtok next April and I will go by car to Gangtok from Darjeeling. But when I will come to Bagdogra it takes 5 or 6 hours by car and this is too much for me as 65 yeas old. My question please can I book the helicopter from Gangtok to Bagdogra and pay up cost for all the five seats for me only one person because my suitcase is big and the weight nearly 30 kg and as I know I can take only 10 kg. Thank you very much for reply. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) March 2014 
    Yes you can. But book in advance. There are only two flights a day. If there are other bookings, then you can't charter the helicopter.