Uttarakhand government had recently removed the condition of compulsory COVID-19 test for Char Dham yatra.
Since then, there has been an increase in pilgrim numbers to these shrines with over 4,800 pilgrims making bookings for the pilgrimage on October 3. According to reports, this is a record for maximum single-day pilgrim booking to Char Dham during the pandemic.
Since July 1, over 50,000 pilgrims have visited the shrines
Ravinath Raman, CEO, Char Dham Devasthanam Management Board said that since July 1, 92,516 e-passes have been issued.
Discussing the numbers, Raman said, “On Saturday, 4,844 pilgrims made bookings for e-passes for Char Dham pilgrimage which is a single-day record during the pandemic.”
“Also, the daily allowed number of pilgrims has been increased to 3,000 for Badrinath, 3,000 for Kedarnath, 900 for Gangotri, and 700 for Yamunotri. This has been necessitated following an increased footfall of pilgrims after Unlock-5 and based on the availability of accommodation, food and other arrangements, including social distancing, as assessed by respective district magistrates”, added Raman.
The four sites – Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath are collectively called Char Dham. These are among the most revered pilgrimage sites in Hindu tradition and attract lakhs of pilgrims every year.
Last year, 29 lakh pilgrims visited Char Dham, compared to over 27 lakh pilgrims the previous year.
The government has released new guidelines for visiting Char Dham shrines. According to the new rules, pilgrims are required to register on the official website of the board. They also need to have an e-pass for visiting the shrines.
Apart from this, they need to undergo thermal screening at the entrance of the shrines. If their body temperature is found higher than normal then a COVID-19 test will be conducted.
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