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Char Dham Yatra finally begins, less than 500 pilgrims offer prayers on day 1

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By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun, 18 Sep: The Chardham and Hemkund Sahib Yatra has finally begun for the current season, following the permission granted for the same by the Uttarakhand High Court. Today was the first day of the Yatra and late last evening, the SOPs were issued in this regard by the government.
However, on the first day, most of the pilgrims at the Char Dham shrines were locals. Only a handful of devotees from outside the state visited the Char Dham Shrines.
Early this morning, devotees reached Badrinath Dham, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri for darshan in the early hours.
For the first time, every passenger vehicle plying during the Chardham Yatra will have a QR code. The Department of Transport has started this facility. Wherever the officers of the department will conduct the checking, the passengers would not be required to show all the documents. Only the QR code will be scanned and the officials will permit the vehicles to proceed. Physical inspection of the vehicle will be mandatory for all types of passenger vehicles for issuance of green cards while applications for green card, trip card will be online. Police, Health Department, National Highway, Public Works Department, Tourism Department, Regional Divisional Transport Office, Municipal bodies, Tour and Travel operators and the unions, Roadways Management, Private Bus, Hotel Association, etc., have been directed to make necessary arrangements for Chardham Yatra.
So far 342 pilgrims left Gaurikund for Kedarnath. 100 devotees arrived for Hemkund Yatra. The state government has allowed a limited number of devotees to visit the four dhams for darshan. Only 1000 devotees are allowed in Badrinath, 800 in Kedarnath, 600 in Gangotri, 400 in Yamunotri and 1000 in Hemkund. Travel is being allowed only by registering on the Dehradun Smart City Portal and taking an e-pass from the website of the Devasthanam Board.
The doors of Hemkund Sahib were opened for the devotees on Saturday with the law. More than 100 devotees were present during the opening of the doors. During this all the devotees participated in the first Ardas.
Around 20,000 e-passes were issued so far for the Char Dham Yatra this year as per the official claims. While on the first day, 335 pilgrims had darshan at Badrinath, 84 at Kedarnth till 5 pm this evening. At the same time, only local people had darshan at Gangotri and Yamunotri today. 100 pilgrims visited Hemkund Sahib on the first day.