New restrictions introduced at Char Dham Yatra

Due to a surge in pilgrims, the Uttarakhand government has decided to prohibit VIP darshan at the Char Dham temples and allow only registered vehicles on the Char Dham routes...
Char Dham Yatra
Char Dham Yatra

The annual Char Dham Yatra has seen a remarkable surge in participation this year, with thousands of pilgrims embarking on the spiritual journey to seek blessings. Registrations for the yatra commenced on April 25, with the pilgrimage officially beginning on May 10. Within the first six days, a total of 3,34,732 individuals from both India and abroad visited the sacred shrines to offer prayers.

In response to the increasing influx of tourists, the Uttarakhand government has imposed a ban on mobile phone usage within a 200-metre radius of the Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri temples. This decision was made during a special meeting on the Char Dham pilgrimage, chaired by chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami. Due to heightened pilgrim activity — phones, video recording and social media content within a 50-metre radius of the shrines are also banned. Chief secretary Radha Raturi had earlier declared the mobile phone ban within 200 metres of the shrines and warned that legal action would be taken against individuals creating reels and spreading false information about the Char Dham Yatra.

Furthermore, the Uttarakhand government has decided to prohibit VIP darshan at the Char Dham temples. “I would like to inform you that this year, there is a continuous surge in the number of pilgrims visiting the holy Char Dham in Uttarakhand,” said Radha in a letter. “For better management, we have decided not to have any VIP darshan till May 31 2024.” The Char Dham Yatra is being conducted smoothly, with arrangements in place to ensure systematic darshan for the pilgrims. However, it has been observed that videography and reel-making for social media on the temple premises is causing crowding and inconvenience for devotees. Therefore, making videos or reels within a 50-metre radius of the temple premises is completely banned. Additionally, the government has mandated that only registered vehicles are allowed on the Char Dham routes to improve traffic flow.

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The New Indian Express