Chardham Yatra 2021: The Nainital High Court ordered devotees to follow strict COVID-19 protocols while limiting the number of visitors allowed.
New Delhi: Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami announced on Friday that the Chardham Yatra in the state would start from September 18.
The announcement comes as the Nainital High Court lifted the Chardham Yatra ban on Thursday and only allowed people fully vaccinated against COVID with a mandatory COVID-19 negative report for the annual pilgrimage.
The Nainital High Court has ordered worshipers to follow strict COVID-19 protocols while setting a limit on the number of visitors allowed. The court said that only 800 worshipers would be allowed in Kedarnath Dham, 1,200 in Badrinath Dham, 600 in Gangotri, and 400 worshipers in Yamunotri Dham in one day.
The High Court ruling came on the affidavit filed by the government of Uttarakhand on September 8 to authorize the yatra.
On June 28, the High Court suspended the yatra until further notice. He took into account various factors such as the lack of health services in the districts of Chardham Yatra, the lack of adequate preparations to control the COVID-19 infection, the shortage of doctors and the report of the district administration to make the decision.
Meanwhile, according to the court order, enhanced security will be deployed in the districts of Chamoli, Rudraprayag, and Uttarkashi. Devotees will not be able to perform “shahi snan” at any of the holy places.
The Char Dham Yatra encompasses the four sacred pilgrimages of Uttarakhand – Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath. All four sites are located in the Garhwal region of the state.
Several other pilgrimages have been restricted due to the COVID pandemic. Besides Chardham Yatra, the government of Uttarakhand had to ban Kanwar Yatra in July of this year due to concerns over the spread of the coronavirus.