DAINIK NATION BUREAU
With the departure of few hundred pilgrims from Badrinath, which closed for winter break on November 19, Char Dham yatra closed for this winter season and now it will be open somewhere in April or May 2018. This year 18 lakh pilgrims visited to Char Dham and Hemkund sahib and this number has given sigh of relief to the government and now they are very much optimistic that this figure would cross 25-30 lakh next year.
As we know that Uttarakhand economy is tourism based economy so as much as tourist inflow would increase state economy will boom. It is being presumed that after completion of all weather road, which foundation was laid by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 2016, pilgrim number would increase significantly.
During 2014 and 2015, the pilgrimage remained disrupted only to pick pace in 2016. During the Char Dham yatra-2016, around 13 lakh pilgrims visited the shrines. Though heavy rains had again disrupted the yatra during that period the efforts were made by former Harish Rawat led congress regime.
As per the available data provided by the Badrinath Kedarnath Temple Committee (BKTC) which organises the yatra, around 7.63 lakh pilgrims were registered at the 16 registration centres set up by a private company. This company was hired by the government for carrying out photo registrations. A total of 18,53,900 pilgrims visited the five shrines.
“This year, we were able to keep a tab on the number of pilgrims coming in due to the setting up of 16 registrations centres at key points. The pilgrims came from all the states and union territories of the country”, said BD Singh, Chief Executive officer (CEO) of the BKTC.
The highest number of pilgrims turned up from Uttar Pradesh (98,161). From Maharashtra 90,114 pilgrims, from Madhya Pradesh 75,216 devotees and from Punjab 74,521 pilgrims visited the shrines.
A few pilgrims also came from the nborth eastern states of Mizoram (4) and Nagaland (17). The shrine of Yamnotri attracted around 3,03,784 pilgrims, Gangotri 3,53,266, Kedarnath 5,60,053, Badrinath 5,09,718 and Hemkund Sahib 1,25,079 pilgrims.
In addition to the local pilgrims from around the country around 13,000 foreign tourists also visited these shrines.