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Every year, hundreds of people attempt one of India’s most revered pilgrimages, the Char Dham Yatra. However, owing to the lockdown, plans of going on the pilgrimage had to be put on hold. While the temples opened for the religious ceremonies, no devotees were allowed to set foot inside the premises.Now, with the lockdown being lifted in many places, these temples are ready to welcome pilgrims once again.
According to a new Standard of Procedure released by the state government, only locals would be allowed to visit the shrines till June 30. After that, it will be open for devotees all across the country. However, the shrines will now have a cap of 1,200 visitors per day.
Pilgrims will have to pay a fee and receive a token before being allowed inside the shrines. The token will have a specified date and time of visit and will be checked at the entrance. They will only be able to offer their prayers for a minute or less before having to move on. For pilgrims queueing up outside the shrine, the administration has drawn circles to ensure that social distancing protocols are maintained.
Masks will be compulsory for anyone wishing to visit the shrines, of course. Until June 30, the temples will be open for all locals in the area and anyone stranded in the nearby hotels or guesthouses. After that, the temple shall gradually start welcoming pilgrims from all over the country.
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