Pilgrimage to Badrinath and Hemkunt Sahib shrines resumed on Monday after the damaged route was repaired.Officials said paid chopper services were also being provided to pilgrims to reach Badrinath and Hemkunt Sahib. The 'trekking route' to Kedarnath shrine has still not been opened after heavy rains threw life out of gear in the state last week.
"The air passage to the (Kedarnath) shrine, however, was open," said Rudraprayag district magistrate (DM) Raghav Langhar.
"On an average, 250 pilgrims are visiting Kedarnath via choppers. The bridge connecting Sonprayag and Gaurikund was washed away, but another footbridge is still intact," the DM told HT over phone.
"We will be opening the Kedarnath trekking route from July 1 though the five-km motor stretch from Sonprayag till Gaurikund will take some more days to get repaired," he added.
In Chamoli district, more than 7,000 Sikh pilgrims heading towards Hemkunt Sahib were stranded at Ghagharia after a crucial bridge at Bhyundar village along the trek route was washed away. "We have cleared Ghangharia. The last group of 12 pilgrims was evacuated on Monday morning," said Chamoli district magistrate Ashok Kumar.
"Pilgrims are now going both ways - to and fro - from Badrinath and Hemkunt Sahib." said district magistrate Ashok Kumar. He said nearly 100 pilgrims visited Hemkunt Sahib via helicopter.As many as 19 tourist buses and 227 small vehicles stuck in Badrinath were able to move forward after a 50-meter road stretch that was washed away near Lambagar was restored for vehicular movement.