Char Dham Yatra: Uttarakhand HC lifts stay, caps number of devotees visiting shrines
Nearly after three months, the Uttarakhand High Court lifted its June 28 stay on Char Dham yatra, and allowed the resumption of yatra to the four revered Himalayan shrines, while setting a daily limit on the number of devotees visiting shrines.
1- The Uttarakhand High Court has limited the number of daily devotees to 800 for Kedarnath, 1,000 for Badrinath, 600 for Gangotri, and 400 for Yamunotri.
2- Only fully vaccinated devotees carrying a Covid negative report will be allowed to visit the Holy Shrines.
3- The pilgrims are restricted from taking baths in any of the springs around the temples.
4- The HC has directed the state government to deploy an appropriate number of police personnel and authorities at each of the shrines to keep a check on overcrowding and adherence to COVID-19 norms.
Earlier on 28 June 2021, the Uttarakhand HC stayed the cabinet decision to allow the yatra from July 1, citing the impending third wave of COVID-19. Instead, the court ordered the state government to live stream the daily prayer rituals from the Holy Shrines.
Following this, the state government approached the Supreme Court with an SPL against the HC's decision but withdrew it earlier this month and approached the High Court again. The government in its plea said that the yatra can be allowed as the number of COVID-19 cases had come down significantly.
Char Dham Yatra
It is collectively used for religious circuit covering Holy Hindu pilgrimage centres of Badarinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri. These four religious places are most sacred among Hindus lakhs of pilgrims visit them annually.
As per the belief, Char Dham yatra helps in the redemption from the cycle of birth & death in this world-- Moksha. The pilgrimage begins from Yamunotri in the west, proceeds to Gangotri and finally to Kedarnath and Badrinath in the east.