Over 20,000 pilgrims visit Char Dham shrines in two months despite soaring Covid-19 cases
Over 20,000 pilgrims have visited the Char Dham shrines in Uttarakhand in the past two months ever since the entry of pilgrims was allowed to these revered Himalayan shrines.
Officials from Char Dham Devasthanam Management Board said that around 35,000 e-passes have been issued to pilgrims of which over 20,000 have already visited the shrines. The response has been good despite the pandemic and soaring Covid-19 cases.
Ravinath Raman, chief executive officer of Char Dham Devasthanam Management Board said, “It is the effort of the state government that there should be a gradual influx of pilgrims in the four shrines so that tourism and pilgrimage can get momentum. The yatra is getting a good response also. Now people from outside the state can also travel by making e-pass for Char Dham Yatra and fulfilling the health-related standards.”
Since July 1, a total of 35,028 e-passes have been issued by the Board to pilgrims from within and outside the state.
Raman added that all social and physical distancing norms are being followed at the temples while giving entry to pilgrims. The officials further informed that the response has slightly reduced due to monsoon. With bad roads, not all pilgrims are able to reach the shrines.
A Covid-19 test from a laboratory certified by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is mandatory for pilgrims visiting from outside the state.
In the last week of July, the Uttarakhand government had decided to allow pilgrims from other states to visit Char Dham shrines with some conditions.
According to the new guidelines, the pilgrims will need to have an RT-PCR negative report conducted within 72 hours of entering the state. If they don’t have a negative report then they will be required to complete the mandatory quarantine period after entering the state before proceeding with the pilgrimage to Char Dham shrines.
The pilgrims are also required to upload their negative RT-PCR report or a declaration on having completed the quarantine on the website of the Char Dham board. They will also need to keep all these documents with them during the pilgrimage.