Uttarakhand Chardham Devasthanam Board issues SOPs for yatra beginning from July 1

Dehradun (Uttarakhand) [India], June 29 (ANI): Hours after announcing that Char Dham Yatra for residents of the state will begin from July 1 amid COVID-19 crisis, Uttarakhand Chardham Devasthanam Board on Monday issued Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the same.

In order to undertake the yatra, visitors need to apply for e-pass on Uttarakhand Chardham Devasthanam Prabandhan Board's website.

"E-pass is applicable for residents of Uttarakhand only. The e-pass will be valid only for the darshan at the temple," as per the SOPs issued by the board.

"Pilgrims are strictly advised not to touch any idols, during their visit to the temple. Temple authorities keep all rights reserved to amends the guidelines without any prior notice and also can refuse to enter any pilgrim in the temple premise," the board said.

Uttarakhand government will begin the Char Dham Yatra for residents of the state from July 1.

"Uttarakhand government will begin Char Dham Yatra for the residents of the state from July 1, following standard operating procedure (SOPs) issued by the government in view of COVID-19," the board said.

It said that people from containment zones and quarantine centres within the state will also not be allowed to take part in the pilgrimage.

The Chardham Yatra, which includes a visit to the Kedarnath temple, attracts lakhs of tourists and devotees every year from across the country and abroad.The board had earlier postponed the Char Dham Yatra for devotees from outside the state till June 30, in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Notably, the Char Dham Teerth Purohits had objected to commencement of the 'Char Dham Yatra' in view of the surge in COVID-19 cases. (ANI)