With travel opening up and states doing away with major covid restrictions, the much awaited Char Dham yatra commenced yesterday in Uttarakhand. The Gangotri and Yamunotri shrines were opened yesterday for pilgrims.
While many sites and circuits hold significance in the Hindu culture and are frequented by devotees, the Char Dham yatra is an annual pilgrimage undertaken by devotees in the Himalayan highlands. This pilgrim circuit comprises four holy sites — Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath.
The religious pilgrimage this year has made registration of every pilgrim coming to the state mandatory. And nearly 3,50,000 pilgrims have already confirmed their registration. The pilgrimage has opened after a two-year hiatus owing to the global pandemic. While Gangotri and Yamunotri opened their doors yesterday, the wait for Kedarnath and Badrinath is for a few more days, with Kedarnath reopening on May 6 and Badrinath reopening on May 8 this year. For the sikh pilgrims, the pilgrimage to Hemkund Sahib will begin on May 22, after the Sikh shrine reopens.
“The Chardham Yatra begins today, and I welcome all the pilgrims to Uttarakhand, and I hope that each of you has a comfortable and safe yatra. We are committed to providing flawless hospitality and ensuring that you have a memorable experience,” said the Uttarakhand Chief Minister, Pushkar Dhami.
Looking forward to the pilgrims this year, Tourism Secretary, Dilip Jawalkar said, “The state expects a record turnout of pilgrims this year.” He also highlighted that in addition to the offline registration at multiple locations, the Uttarakhand Government has also launched online registration for the convenience of the incoming pilgrims. The online registrations can be done at uttarakhandtourism.gov.in.