Snow hits pilgrims to Char Dhaam; State issues advisory

Dehradun : With inclement weather, including light to moderate snow, becoming an impediment to the pilgrims going to the Badrinath and Kedarnath shrines and temperature plummeting to minus levels, authorities have appealed to the people to stay put at shelters and not proceed further specially to the Kedarnath shrine, which involves a 14 km trek from Gaurikund.

Kedarnath temple - File Photo

Official sources said that even an advisory had been issued to people above 60 years of age asking them not to proceed for the pilgrimage to these two shrines for the time being till the climate improves.

This was done seeing the problems that the pilgrims were facing because of rain and snow and very low temperatures existing at the heights.

Even the helicopter sorties to the Kedarnath shrines were affected because of the inclement weather as the two helipads at Kedarnath were under a fresh blanket of heavy snow.

Because of this those who had hoped of visiting the shrine in choppers also could not do so and were waiting for the weather to clear.

It was the same for pilgrims going to the shrines of Yamnotri and Gangotri where too weather was playing havoc with the arrangements that had been out in place by the concerned authorities.

There were fears that even supplies of essentials may be adversely hit as even chopper services could not be undertaken.

Army and ITBP jawans had been called in to assist the pilgrims who had already made it to the shrines as there is heavy snow at all the four shrines.

The army personnel were also on standby to assist in ferrying essential commodities to pilgrims who had been stranded at various points on the 14 km trek to Kedarnath.

However, meteorological department officials said that the weather was likely to clear in the next 24 hours which would allow helicopter services to resume to the Kedarnath shrine.

This would help ease the position of essential commodities and allow pilgrims to undertake their trip to the holy shrine of Lord Shiva.

A journalist with over 40 years of experience, Jagdish Bhatt was Editor, Hill Post (Uttarakhand). Jagdish had worked with India's leading English dailies, which include Times of India, Indian Express, Pioneer and several other reputed publications. A highly acclaimed journalist, he was a recipient of many awards Jagdish Bhatt, aged 72, breathed his last on 28th August 2021 at his Dehradun residence.

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