No more queueing up at Badrinath, Kedharnath: Tokens to ensure time-bound darshan
Pilgrims visiting Badrinath and Kedarnath — two of the Uttarakhand’s four fabled Hindu shrines that comprise the Chardham — will now have a hassle-free darshan of the deities, courtesy a token systemdehradun Updated: Apr 14, 2018 22:25 IST
Pilgrims visiting Badrinath and Kedarnath — two of the Uttarakhand’s four fabled Hindu shrines that comprise the Chardham — will now have a hassle-free darshan of the deities, courtesy a token system. Besides, they will be able to offer dakshina (offering in cash) at the altars of the divinities through a digital payment mode.
“Thanks to a separate online system, even non-attendee pilgrims will now be able to get puja performed at the two shrines from any part of the country,” said V K Singh, officer on special duty (OSD) of Shri Badrinath-Shri Kedarnath Temple Committee. “Besides, pilgrims will be able to register with both the shrines, for which they will be provided a permanent identification number like the Aadhaar,” he revealed.
The online system would be introduced so that pilgrims “are not inconvenienced by the heavy rush while having darshan” of the deities. A massive crowd of pilgrims throng the two shrines with the beginning of the annual Chardham yatra (pilgrimage). This time the six-month long pilgrimage starts on April 18.
The influx of pilgrims to Kedarnath and Badrinath will start with the ceremonial reopening of the portals of the two shrines on April 29 and 30 respectively, according to temple committee members. Last year, about five lakh pilgrims had darshan of Lord Kedarnath and some nine lakh of pilgrims visited Badrinath.
“The premises of both the shrines witness a huge crowd of pilgrims each day following the ceremonial reopening of the portals. Their (pilgrims) numbers are so huge and unmanageable that only a few of them are able to have darshan of the deities,” Singh said.
The temple committee has devised a mechanism of token system for a proper crowd management. Under the system, Singh said, pilgrims would be provided tokens on which exact time for darshan would be mentioned. “They will revisit the temple at the appointed hour and return after getting the puja performed by the priest,” he said. The system would not just spare the pilgrims the harassment they face owing to the heavy rush. “They will also no longer have to stand in long queues for hours at a stretch before their number for darshan of the deities comes.”
The time pilgrims spent standing in queues could now be utilised for sightseeing.
The two shrines would have on their premises the facility of the digital payment of dakshina (offering in cash) for “the pilgrims who don’t carry cash” or prefer making payment through digital modes. “For such pilgrims we will provide POS machines at both the shrines. Also they will be able to offer dakshina through PayTm e-wallet.”
Besides the “fully computerised” token system, the committee would also introduce an online system for non-attendee pilgrims. The system is meant for devotees who would not be able to be physically present at the shrines for some reasons. “All such devotees can visit our website to seek a particular time online for puja at Badrinath or Kedarnath, which would be performed by local priests,” Singh said. The committee would also have prasad (devotional offering) dispatched at the addresses of the non-attendee pilgrims. They could also post dakshina by cheque at the address of the temple committee as the online system of payment was yet to be introduced.
Besides, a computerised system complete with a software would soon be introduced for pilgrims to register permanently with the two shrines. “Under that system, yatris would be provided a permanent identity card number each like the Aadhaar card number,” Singh said. “All registered pilgrims would receive each and every detail relating to their parents and gotras (ancestry) once they would provide us their permanent identity numbers.”
The electronic facility “has been introduced, so pilgrims develop a sense of attachment for the fabled shrines of Badrinath and Kedarnath.”
First Published: Apr 14, 2018 22:25 IST