Inclement weather may have hindered tourists’ movement in the hill areas of Uttarakhand for the past five days but the pilgrimages to Char Dham and Hemkund Sahib have witnessed a steady flow of devotees.
According to the state tourism department, the number of tourists visiting the state have halved in the recent weeks as compared the numbers of visitor footfall during the pre-monsoon tourist season.
The tourism department’s figures may be evident that the tourist flow has come down drastically in past week due heavy rains and road blockades but it has not petered out completely.
According to the state tourism department figures, more than 1,840 pilgrims visited the Badrinath shrine between July 8 and July 12, 2015.
Despite the 2013 flash flood “fear factor” still having its impact on the daily flow of pilgrims to the state, more than 2,000 devotees visited the Badrinath shrine prior to the onset of the monsoon.
Similar is the situation at the Kedarnath where more than 500 pilgrims visited the shrine in the same period. The figures for Saturday and Sunday were 107 and 124 respectively.
As compared to this daily pilgrims visit figure had gone up to more than 1000 before the onset of monsoon resulting into incessant rains for the past five to six days.
On the other hand, Gangotri witnessed more than 810 pilgrim footfall during the period. More than 700 pilgrims visited the shrine every day before the monsoon peaked. Yamunotri shrine followed same the pre-monsoon trend but the daily flow of pilgrims came down to almost 150 between July 8 and July 12.
A total of 640 pilgrims visited Yamunotri during the period despite inclement weather conditions. Similar situation existed in Hemkund sahib that witnessed more than 990 pilgrims during the same period with the daily footfall of 150-200 being recorded.
“The flow of pilgrims has indeed thinned and reduced to hundreds but it never stopped during this period, unlike in the past despite inclement weather conditions across the state” said BD Singh, the chief executive officer of Badri-Kedar temple committee.
Singh said he was hopeful that the tourist flow will pick momentum once the rains subside as the “fear factor” of the 2013 deluge has declined across the country.“Diminishing fear factor was quiet evident seeing the rush of visitors during the peak tourism season prior to the monsoon.”