Char Dham Yatra can be chaotic, challenging: Here’s what to know before taking the spiritual trip

When Shashank Raj Joshi and his family did a job Char Dham Yetra This year they tried to cover several pilgrimage sites, but found that Badrinath and Kedarnath were more crowded than other places.

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“We traveled between June 1st and June 11th and were able to visit Rishikesh, Rudraprayaag, Karnaprayag, Nandaprayag, Valley of FlowersGurudwara Shree Hemkund Sahib, Badrinath, KedarnathYamunotri, Harsil and Gangotri, the 24-year-old partnered with this outlet.

Shashank Raj Joshi, Char Dham Yatra, Indian Express News Shashank Raj Joshi (far right) with his family in Gangotri. (Photo: Shashank Raj Joshi)

Joshi added that while standing in long queues wasn’t easy, they made sure they stayed moistCarry a first aid kit with the first medicines used face masks She maintained social distancing amid the pandemic. “It is also our responsibility to preserve such historical and religious places when we travel to them,” he added. “As tourists, we must follow all traffic rules, keep the place clean and respect nature as well.”

However, it was reported in May of this year that tourists sweeping across the state left behind a mountain of trash and litter for locals to clean up, with videos circulating on social media confirming this. It led to environmental hazards, including air and water pollution (especially the sacred lakes and rivers that flow here). But this is not the only drawback here.

nation Uttarakhand Hailed as “Dev Bhoomi” or “Land of the Gods,” there are many great pilgrimage sites here that include sacred temples that attract millions of pilgrims – mostly Hindus – from all over the world.

The Char Dham The circuit consists of four sites – Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath – and according to Hindu scriptures, all of these sites are extremely sacred. Therefore, it is the absolute desire of every practicing Hindu to visit these shrines at least once in his life to fulfill “mokshaor redemption. It is also said that one must complete the Yatra clockwise; Meaning, they should start from Yamunotri, then go to Gangotri, followed by Kedarnath, and finally Badrinath.

This belief is what attracts tourists annually – a practice that has been virtually halted for nearly two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has restricted people’s movements and called for social distancing as one of the primary measures to prevent the spread of the virus. infection.

This year, when the Yatra resumed, there was an influx of many tourists which resulted in actual crowding. Videos showed people stranded on mountain roads leading to their destination.

Char Dham Yatra, Char Dham Yatra 2022, Char Dham Yatra Uttarakhand, Char Dham Yatra travel, Char Dham Yatra news, Char Dham Yatra news, Char Dham Yatra process, Char Dham Yatra health, Char Dham Yatra route, Char Dham Yatra route, Char Tourists Dham Yatra, Char Dham Yatra Rules, India Fast News The Char Dham circuit consists of four locations – Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath. (Quick archive image)

Additionally, according to data from Uttarakhand Emergency Operations Center, up to 203 people have died this year since the start of the Yatra on May 3. 13 in Gangotri and 42 in Yamunotri; It is said that the cause of death heart stop and other health issues.

So the journey was not easy for pilgrims looking for solace. But, is Dev Bhoomi seeing an unprecedented rise in tourist footfall? And if so, is she ready to deal with this mess?

“In the past few years, people were unable to travel. They were simply confined to their chairs due to the routine of working from home. There was a pent-up desire to travel somewhere, and international flights were off limits. So, while they could not think of places to visit, They wanted to pack their bags and take off somewhere. “Maybe this is why Uttarakhand is experiencing such disturbing footprints,” said Sheshav of the Shallow Musafer tourism agency.

He added that he was in Nainital I recently learned that the government started returning tourists who visited the place without a confirmed hotel reservation, in order to control crowds.

When it comes to the Char Dham Yatra, the uttarakhandtourism.gov.in It states that it is “mandatory” to register yourself before taking the trip, as it will give you “access to attractions and services such as Pooja Reservation, helicopter service, information about darshan timing, and much more.”

The government has made the process mandatory since 2014, and only after registration is completed can a QR code be issued to lovers. “Registration helps to better monitor and control the flow of pilgrims, making the journey safer for everyone. You can get help with getting medical assistance, SOS, police helpline, etc., just by logging into the app,” the website states.

Char Dham Yatra, Char Dham Yatra 2022, Char Dham Yatra Uttarakhand, Char Dham Yatra travel, Char Dham Yatra news, Char Dham Yatra news, Char Dham Yatra process, Char Dham Yatra health, Char Dham Yatra route, Char Dham Yatra route, Char Tourists Dham Yatra, Char Dham Yatra Rules, India Fast News Kedarnath temple in Uttarakhand. (Image: Getty/Thinkstock)

Gorchaman Singh, director of Chardham Travel – a Haridwar travel agency that specializes in Char Dham Yatra Package – told this outlet that the closures in the initial period of the pandemic may have caused this backlog in the state, due to a “more than two-year stalemate”.

“People booked in advance and joined a new group of tourists (when lockdown restrictions eased) which increased footfall. Having said that, the Yatra has always been popular,” he said.

Singh also explained that many tourists are not aware of the registration process set up by the government, which may have led to confusion. He explained, “Many people were forced to go back to Haridwar or Rishikesh, because they were not registered and started crowding on Yatra Road.”

Singh added that despite the government’s provision of medical supplies at the base camps, the Char Dham Yatra is generally difficult. In Kedarnath, for example, the level of oxygen in the body can fluctuate, due to its height. For an elderly person, this can lead to a Heart attack. “

What should be known from a health point of view before embarking on the Char Dham Yatra?

Needless to say, Char Dham is not an easy journey. Although it is spiritually satisfying, it can be a test and time consuming. Doctors say it is essential to know your body and understand its signs.

According to Dr. Bharat Agarwal, Consultant Internal Medicine, Apollo Hospitals Navi Mumbai, prolonged standing can cause tiredness and fatigue, Fainting spells (syncope)Swelling in the legs. “Beside that, Diabetics They could have low sugar if they fast for long periods.”

The doctor added that medical facilities should be made available to take care of basic injuries, respiratory problems and cardiac emergencies, especially in the event of a “large gathering of people”.

In agreement with him, Dr. Ajay Kaul, Head of Cardiac Sciences at Fortis Hospital, Noida said that before the Yatra procedure – which requires many days of travel and long queues – people should consider doing the following:

1. Medical examination before the Yatra procedure.
2. Proper care during elytra, such as taking medications on time, getting proper rest, and having a gap between two strenuous exercises.
3. The government should make arrangements for the elderly and those with health problems, in the form of separate queues.
4. Intermittent medical facilities along the Eletra River.
5. Limiting the number of pilgrims to reduce overcrowding.

Dr. Cowell added that any exercise that the body is not familiar with or used to should be done after a lot of planning, especially for patients with underlying health issues. “If you are a heart patient or have risk factors for heart problems, you should understand what to do and what not to do before choosing strenuous exercise,” he said, adding that factors that lead to a higher rate of heart disease include extreme conditions such as exposure to cold and dehydration. And lack of oxygen due to high altitude, lack of proper food, lack of sleep, fatigue, and not taking medication regularly.

It should also be noted that the epidemic is ongoing, and Covid-appropriate behavior Still to be followed, which includes “wearing a face mask, mandatory social distancing, and proper hand hygiene,” said Dr. Piyush Goel, Consultant Pulmonologist, Manipal Hospitals, Gurugram. “Symptomatic patients should not hide their symptoms and avoid going to crowded places.”

The doctor warned that high altitude can “exacerbate health problems due to stress, exertion, low oxygen and low temperatures,” leading to “high chances of lung infections, Urinary tract infectionswhich can be extra stress on the body.”

Medical facilities must be more robust to face critical situations such as acute myocardial infarction, cardiac arrest, respiratory distress and pneumonia. I will focus on medically detailed work for these patients before they begin the Char Dham Yatra so that these tragedies are avoided.”

While Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri will be closed to tourists in October, Badrinath will remain open until November 2022.

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