The Sinus glider at Deoghar airstrip. Telegraph picture
Ranchi, July 17: Two years after the service was suspended following a bird-hit, the Shravan glider ride is back in Deoghar.
The state civil aviation authorities today resumed Akash Darshan of Trikut Pahar, Tapovan and River Mayuraskshi, offering adventurous devotees a bird's-eye view of the temple town.
Department sources said the government had recently received a clearance from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to resume the glider service, albeit with the rider that the aerial amusement wouldn't include Baidyanath Dham, the main temple where birds flock for prasad leftovers.
In 2015, a glider crossing the temple airspace had crashed after a bird-hit. While there were no passengers on board, the pilot - captain S.P. Sinha - had had a close shave.
An official of Deoghar Flying Institute, near the airstrip in the district, said the 10-minute glider rides would be pocket-friendly.
"We offer two aircraft variants - the Winch and the Sinus. Both are two-seater gliders, including the pilot (seat). Since the Sinus consumes more fuel, its rate is higher at Rs 800. A ride on the Winch, which uses fuel only for initiation and can then fly for miles, costs Rs 300," the official said, adding that both were equally safe.
Sanjay Pandey, who is the local in-charge of the Deoghar airstrip, said they were receiving a good response. Today, there were over 40 bookings till noon. "But, only eight could be flown. Thereafter, we had to suspend services owing to heavy rain," Pandey said in the afternoon, adding that services would resume if the skies cleared.
Tall at 2,470ft, Trikut Pahar is 10km from Deoghar temple and along the road to Dumka. Tapovan, also 10km away, is famous for Tapo Nath Mahadev Temple. In earlier times, it was also a revered meditation spot for Naga sadhus. River Mayurakshi originates from Trikut Pahar and flows through the Bengal districts of Birbhum and Murshidabad before it meets River Hooghly.