Rishikesh: More than seven lakh pilgrims have visited the chardham or four Himalayan shrines in Uttarakhand in less than a month since the yatra began on April 28.
Till yesterday, a total of 7,10,271 pilgrims have visited the Himalayan shrines of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri since the annual yatra started on April 28, Garhwal Commissioner Vinod Sharma told PTI.
As many as 4,09,016 pilgrims had visited the four shrines last year (May 12-May 22), he said.
"It shows the growing confidence of people in the reconstruction work carried out by the state government in the area and renewed infrastructural facilities created on the route since the massive devastation caused by the 2013 flash floods," Sharma said. Devotees across the country and abroad have kept a close eye on what has been done for their convenience on the chardham route and they feel more confident now to visit the famed Himalayan shrines, he said. However, several people have died during the pilgrimage so far, with devotees reportedly blaming lack of health facilities for the deaths. Uttarakhand had witnessed a devastating natural disaster in the form of torrential rains of unseen magnitude on June 16-17, 2013.
It caused widespread destruction and also led to heavy losses to physical infrastructure, agriculture fields, human and animal lives and roads.