DEHRADUN: There has been an unprecedented rise in pilgrim flow to the Char Dham circuit of late, thanks to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Kedarnath and Badrinath.
Officials said, 29,44,872 lakh pilgrims have visited Kedarnath, Badrinath, Yamunotri and Gangotri — the highest in decades — and the number is set to cross the 30-lakh mark soon. Of the total, 10,66,090 pilgrims visited Badrinath, 9,26,875 visited Kedarnath, 5,028,21 arrived in Gangotri while 4,72,555 touched base at Yamunotri, this year.
BD Singh, chief executive officer of Shri Badrinath-Kedarnath Temple Committee said, “The PM’s visit seems to have sparked new interest and inspired pilgrims to visit the shrines without any fear. We hope to receive a record number of pilgrims by the time the temple gates close next month.”
Modi had visited Kedarnath in 2017, 2018 and in May this year. This time, however, he used the meditation cave in Kedarnath for hours.
The spike in numbers has come as a God-sent opportunity to the state which had seen dwindling numbers after thousands were stranded in and around Badrinath last month due to rains.
However, the roads were repaired, following which traffic picked up on all routes.
“The increased footfall is also a result of better management and making people believe in their safety during the arduous journey,” Singh said.
Ajay Gautam, who is involved in PILs related to Char Dham said, “Many projects related to the four shrines are a result of direct interest and intervention of the PM. The facilities in the shrines will soon become world-class, including on the under-construction Char Dham route.”