Six-month long Chardham Yatra in Uttaranchal comprising pilgrimage to four Hindu shrines is begin from today on 16 May 2010. The Uttarakhand government has put in place travel regulations to avoid accidents.
For the first time, the government has asked the pilgrims to take a minimum of 10 days to visit all the four shrines -- Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri in the Garhwal Himalayas.
For Chardham yatra to these three shrines, the minimum period is 8 days in which 6 days for two shrines and three days for other one shrine. "We want to minimize accidents which take a heavy toll every year during the season," said Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank.
The portals of Gangotri and Yamunotri shrines, situated at a height of 3,200 metre and 3,615 metre respectively in Uttarkashi district, would be reopened on May 16 on the occasion of 'Akshay Tritiya' signalling the start of season.
Incidentally, the Char Dhams fall in the geologically volatile high altitude region of the Uttarakhand Himalayas. This whole region has been categorised as "Zone V" owing to its susceptibility to seismic events.