Uttarakhand going all out to revive Hindu’s Char Dham Yatra

uttarakhand-map-indiaWith tourists from Maharashtra forming a considerable number of the total visitors to Uttarakhand, the state tourism board has begun the exercise of attracting Mumbaikars for the religious of Char Dhan yatra, which is set to open for the season from next month.

The hill state, whose economy is hugely dependent on tourism, is home to Hindu holy mountain shrines of Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri, together constituting the Char Dham (Chardham), which attract a large number of devotees and religious travellers every year.

The Uttarakhand government is making special efforts to revive religious tourism following the death of thousands and devastation to these shrines in the flood-landslide disaster of last year, which cost the state Rs1,200 crore worth of business.

“We are in the process of rebuilding the state’s infrastructure. We are ready to begin the ‘holy yatra’ from 2 May with the opening of the Yamunotri and Gangotri gates,” state tourism secretary Umakant Panwar told reporters in Mumbai.

Panwar said that taking lessons from last year’s tragedy, the state plans to contain the number of visitors at any given time. To enforce the plan, the tourism department has made arrangements for mandatory biometric registration of the all the visitors. Also, each visitor will be tracked with a GPS-based monitoring system.

“This way, we will not only be able to keep a check on the number of visitors coming to the state for the pilgrimage or for adventure / leisure tourism. At the same time, through GPS, attempts will be made to make their journey safe as regular updates will be sent to them based on their location,” said Panwar.

The routes to pilgrimage sites of Badrinath Dham (abode), Kedarnath Dham, Gangotri Dham, Yamunotri Dham and Hemkund Sahib will open on different dates between 2 and 25 May, state tourism officials said.

The state government has created more than five base camps, 48 wayside amenities, seven ghats, and 12 night shelters for the upcoming religious tourism season.

The pilgrimage, which starts during summer, has been popular since ancient times, as it involved difficult and arduous trekking through the hilly regions of Uttarakhand and is considered to be highly auspicious among Hindus.

Further, to make the region more comfortable for food-loving travellers from Maharashtra, the state corporation is making efforts to serve local (Maharashtrian) cuisine during their stay. “We are also taking cooks from here,” said Panwar.

Source: Domain-b.com