The Char Dham Yatra in Uttarakhand will begin on Saturday, two days after the High Court lifted the ban from the pilgrimage.
State Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami Friday announced that the pilgrimage will begin from September 18.
Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the yatra:
🔲 Registration & e-pass will be mandatory for ‘darshan’ in the four dhams. Along with this, it’s necessary for devotees to have either both the doses of the COVID-19 vaccine or the negative COVID report not older than 72 hours.
🔲 It will be mandatory for the pilgrims coming from outside Uttarakhand to register in the “Dehradun smart city portal”.
🔲 For devotees from Kerala, Maharashtra & Andhra Pradesh, a negative COVID report not older than 72 hours before the date of travel has been made mandatory, despite having received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
🔲 Holy dip in the ‘kunds’ at the dhams is prohibited. For compliance with the arrangements related to the journey, the checkpoints set up on the travel routes will be checked.
🔲 1,000 pilgrims are allowed daily on Badrinath, 800 on Kedarnath, 600 on Gangotri and 400 on Yamunotri.
On Thursday, the Uttarakhand High Court allowed only fully Covid vaccinated people with a mandatory COVID-19 negative report for the annual pilgrimage. The court ordered devotees to follow strict COVID-19 protocols and limited the number of visitors too. In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the High Court on June 28 had put a temporary ban on the pilgrimage till further orders.
Meanwhile, the Chief Secretary Dr SS Sandhu has also reviewed the preparations for Char Dham Yatra and has given necessary instructions by holding a meeting with the officials of various departments related to travel including Tourism and Devasthanam Management Board.
Sandhu also instructed the District Magistrates of Chamoli, Rudraprayag, Uttarkashi and Pauri to make arrangements for road safety, cleanliness, crowd management, traffic arrangements, testing and compliance with the rules of Covid-19 on the Char Dham Yatra route.
The Char Dham Yatra attracts lakhs of tourists and devotees every year from across the country and abroad. The four pilgrimage sites in Uttarakhand which are part of the yatra are Badrinath, Kedarnath, Yamunotri, and Gangotri.
(With ANI inputs)