The pilgrimage to Char Dham in Uttarakhand continued on Monday, despite severe snowfall and rain in most sections of the Himalayan state, according to the governing council of the temple circuit.
The Char Dham temples, which include Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath, are four pilgrim destinations in Uttarkhand that attract a considerable number of people each year. The pilgrimage to the four temples began on September 18 this year, after the Nainital high court approved the travel of fully vaccinated tourists with negative RT-PCR results for coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
According to news agency ANI, the Devasthanam Management Board, the pilgrim circuit’s governing board, the process of clearing snow on the approach to the Kedarnath shrine is underway. Heavy rains prompted flash floods and landslides across Uttarakhand last week, forcing the state to cancel pilgrimage to the Char Dham. At least 75 people were killed, including several tourists. At least 13 people, including 10 trekkers, are said to have died in the highlands after being trapped by heavy snowfall.
After layers of snow blanketed the helipad, helicopter services to the Kedarnath shrine were reportedly disrupted as layers of snow blanketed the helipad.
The Uttarakhand authorities had advised pilgrims and visitors to the Char Dham to postpone their journeys or stay put till the weather improved. Pushkar Singh Dhami, Uttarakhand’s chief minister, has asked the district magistrates of Pauri and Rudraprayag to keep him informed about the situation. Persistent rain in Uttarakhand and neighbouring Himachal Pradesh brought normal life to a halt and caused extensive damage.