Pvt operators offer free ride to Mana-Chopta for Chardham pilgrims
The association of private tour and travel operators has said they will take pilgrims availing their services for Chardham Yatra to Mana in Chamoli district and scenic meadows of Chopta in Rudraprayag at no extra faredehradun Updated: Apr 30, 2018 21:32 IST
Here’s an offer that pilgrims to Chardham wouldn’t like to refuse. The association of private tour and travel operators has said that they will take pilgrims availing their services for Chardham Yatra to Mana, touted as last village in India, in Chamoli district and scenic meadows of Chopta in Rudraprayag at no extra fare.
The annual Chadham Yatra to the four fabled shrines of Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri began on April 18.
The association has decided to not charge additional fare for these two places hoping to attract more and more pilgrims to Chardham pilgrimage.
Notably, Chopta is also known as mini Switzerland of India courtesy its green meadows. It is also the base camp for Tunghnath, the third temple of Panch-Kedar shrines. Mana is situated on India-Tibet border and is 3 kms from Badrinath shrine.
The convener of the tour and travels association, Sanjay Chopra, said, “As a goodwill gesture, we will be providing tours to Mana and Chopta to the Chardham pilgrims at no extra cost. Both the places are an added attraction for pilgrims and tourists.”
He said that following the disaster wreaked by the flash floods in 2013, there had been a drastic downfall in number of pilgrims to Chardham pilgrimage. The num,bers are now picking up with more than 25,000 such pilgrims attending Sunday’s Kedarnath shrine portal opening ceremony.
Amita Chattopadhyay, a pilgrim from West Bengal, expressed happiness over the decision, saying that till date she had only heard of Mana being the last village of country. “Now that it is accessible at no extra cost, I will surely like to have tea at the famous last shop of the village,” she said.
Meanwhile, the association has urged the state government to revise the fares for Chardham that has not been changed in the last seven years.
Considering the sharp rise in petrol and diesel prices, a revision of vehicle fare is imperative, they said.
General secretary of the association, Sumit Shrikunj, said that they are cooperating with the government by ensuring registration of travel agencies, providing additional free ride to Mana –Chopta, ensuring driver-assistant behavior is in sync with the ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ spirit, displaying name and mobile numbers of drivers on vehicles and also providing additional information to pilgrims about other not so known pilgrim-tourist spot of importance.