DEHRADUN: With Char Dham portals closed, figures indicate a decline in the number of pilgrims due to Covid-19. In comparison to over 38 lakh pilgrims visiting the shrines last year, only 4.2 lakh visited this year.
Ravinath Raman, chief executive officer of Char Dham Devsthanam Board and commissioner of Garhwal division, said, "The number of pilgrims came down due to Covid-19 pandemic. However, every effort was made to encourage religious tourism in Char Dham with safety measures."
Char Dham Yatra for Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri was not opened till July for pilgrims across the country.
The offerings at the shrines also came down to Rs 8 crore from Rs 55 crore last year.
The Yatra was allowed from June 2020 for the residents of the state and later for the people from other states last month giving some respite to the sector.
The number of visitors was capped at 3,000 per day for Badrinath while the same number of pilgrims are allowed every day in Kedarnath.
While a total of 900 pilgrims will be allowed at Gangotri per day, the number of pilgrims visiting Yamunotri has been fixed at 700.
The state government has relaxed the norms to visit Char Dham including exemption from Covid negative test report.
Last year, record more than 38 lakh pilgrims travelled to the four shrines of the hill state.(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)