Religious Tourism

Higher Char Dham footfall likely this year

 Tour bookings and registration of pilgrims are higher

HARIDWAR:  Tour bookings and registration of pilgrims for the char dham yatra in the state indicate that the yatra season this year is likely to witness increased footfall, state tourism department officials have said.

With forest fires in the state under control, officials from the tourism department are hopeful the pilgrim numbers would pick up, reports The Times of India.

Dehradun regional tourist officer Y K Gangwar said that the department expects a very good yatra season this year.

Premanand, an employee at Trilok security systems, an agency carrying out biometric registration of pilgrims in Haridwar, said that according to figures from four pilgrim registration centres at Haridwar and Rishikesh, the number of devotees visiting the four shrines in the state will double this year.

A better response to the yatra this year is evident from the figures of pilgrim registration compared with those of the previous year. In the week before the yatra commenced in 2015, only 518 pilgrims were registered at the four centres in Haridwar and Rishikesh. This year, the numbers look up as 3,775 pilgrims have already registered in these centres as of May 7, said Premanand.

The registration of pilgrims for the yatra at the remaining 12 centres in the state will start from Saturday. The travel agents in the state are also expecting a higher turnout of pilgrims. According to Sumit Srikunj, general secretary of Travel Agents’ Association in the city, most of the package tour operators for char dham yatra have “full bookings” for May.

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