Uttarakhand: With over 33 lakh pilgrims, Char Dham yatra records highest-ever devotee turnout | Dehradun News

DEHRADUN: The Char Dham yatra to the four Himalayan shrines of Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri has recorded its highest-ever devotee turnout this year.
The four shrines have been visited by 33.46 lakh pilgrims so far, as per data provided by the state government.
In 2019, the shrines had recorded a maximum footfall of 32.41 lakh devotees. In 2020 and 2021, the yatra was curtailed due to the Covid outbreak and saw footfall of around 3 lakh and 5 lakh pilgrims respectively. The devotee footfall was 26.22 lakh in 2018, 21.93 lakh in 2017 and 14.05 lakh in 2016. This year, the turnout is expected to rise further as there is still a month of the yatra left, as per officials.
As per official data, this year, the Badrinath shrine has been visited by the maximum of 12.63 lakh pilgrims so far, followed by Kedarnath, which has recorded a turnout of 11.63 lakh. Gangotri shrine in Uttarkashi saw 5.31 lakh visitors, while 4.16 lakh pilgrims have visited the Yamunotri temple so far.
In 2019, Badrinath had recorded a maximum footfall of 12.45 lakh, followed by 10.02 lakh in Kedarnath, 5.30 lakh in Gangotri and 4.66 lakh in Yamunotri.
Commenting on the high pilgrim footfall, state tourism minister, Satpal Maharaj, told TOI, “The increase in devotee numbers is an outcome of the hard work put in by the government in the last few years. We have worked on safety, infrastructure and better facilities for the pilgrims and have successfully conveyed our message as a result of which, devotees are turning up in big numbers.”
The minister added, “Work is going on to develop Badrinath as per the master plan and set up a ropeway project at Kedarnath. We are hopeful that the yatra will continue to see an enthusiastic response in the future as well.”

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