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Record-Breaking Crowds at Char Dham Yatra Prompt Police to Request Halt on VIP Visits

In an effort to manage the crowd effectively and ensure safety, DGP Kumar has reached out to his counterparts across India with this specific request
Indian Masterminds Stories

Faced with an unprecedented surge of devotees flocking to the Char Dham Yatra,, Uttarakhand’s Director General of Police, Abhinav Kumar, announced some significant measures.

During a press briefing at the state secretariat on Wednesday, DGP Kumar revealed that over 26 lakh devotees have registered for the pilgrimage, nearly double the figures from the previous year, leading to heightened logistical and safety concerns.

In an effort to manage the crowd effectively and ensure safety, DGP Kumar has reached out to his counterparts across India with a specific request. “We have asked police chiefs of all states not to send VIPs for the Char Dham Darshan until May 31,” he explained. This step is aimed at easing the pressure on the pilgrimage routes and ensuring a smoother flow for regular devotees.

The Char Dham Yatra, a revered pilgrimage in Hindu tradition, began on May 10 and has since seen an overwhelming turnout. According to Vinay Shankar Pandey, Commissioner of the Garhwal Division, more than 1.42 lakh offline registrations have been recorded at counters in Haridwar and Rishikesh alone. The surge in attendees reached a peak as over one lakh pilgrims visited Kedarnath since its gates opened earlier this month, with 1,26,306 devotees setting a new four-day record for the shrine.

The pilgrimage encompasses visits to four sacred sites in Uttarakhand – Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath. Traditionally completed in a clockwise direction starting from Yamunotri and ending at Badrinath, the journey holds deep spiritual significance. The yatra not only offers a path to spiritual redemption but also showcases the rich tapestry of religious practices in India. Many devotees choose to undertake the entire journey by road, though helicopter services are also available for certain sections.

Despite the spiritual fervor, the unprecedented turnout has put considerable strain on resources and infrastructure. The local administration, while welcoming the devotion and enthusiasm of the pilgrims, has had to ramp up efforts to maintain safety and order. Additional provisions for accommodation, food, and medical services have been arranged, and security measures have been intensified across all sites, especially in Kedarnath, which has seen the highest footfall.

This year’s Char Dham Yatra not only reflects the enduring religious spirit among devotees but also poses unique challenges for the state of Uttarakhand. The government and local authorities are committed to ensuring that the pilgrimage remains a safe and fulfilling experience for all attendees. As the yatra continues, all eyes will be on these sacred sites, hoping that the devotion of the pilgrims is matched by the efficacy of the measures put in place.


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