By Our Staff Reporter
Dehradun, 25 Oct: The Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board (UTDB), in association with ‘Trek the Himalayas’, is embarking on a historical movement wherein a team of experts will rediscover the Char Dham trail on foot. Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami flagged off the journey of the experts on Monday.
A team of 25 left to retrace the old Char Dham and winter Char Dham routes. Anticipated to take 50+ days to complete the entire circuit of 1200+ km on foot, the journey will be documented through visual and written mediums.
Flagging off the event, Chief Minister Dhami extended his best wishes to the trekkers and said, “It is a moment of pride that we have a young force working to explore the old trails of Uttarakhand. This initiative will be a great step towards preserving our age-old heritage. This will also promote our Char Dham Yatra and give a new identity to Uttarakhand.”
Secretary, Tourism, Dilip Jawalkar added, “The team of 25 experts is equipped with all the necessary tools for a safe journey. This quest of tracing the age-old route to Char Dham Yatra will also help us rediscover ways to develop more routes to different places which can be travelled via mountain bikes resulting in promoting adventure tourism. The team will also document the journey, as well, which will help us form new government policies in the near future.”
Additional Chief Executive Officer Yugal Kishore Pant said, “Through this project, we aim to strengthen valuable history, traditions and rich culture, along with a sustainable approach to spreading environmental awareness, promoting homestays, local culture, traditions and generating employment opportunities. We also aim to develop a full-length documentary by the end of the project. Along with the movement of rediscovering the ancient route, the team will also promote the Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Grah Awaas Yojna, the Yatra among the locals.”
Project Manager and Founder, TTH, Rakesh Pant added, “The journey is divided into 5 stages. Stage 1 covers Rishikesh to Yamunotri, Stage 2 – Yamnoutri to Gangotri, Stage 3 – Gangotri to Kedarnath, Stage 4 – Kedarnath to Badrinath and Stage 5 would bring the team back from Badrinath to Rishikesh. During the visit, the team would also re-explore different ‘Chattis’ (established by the Baba Kali Kamli Group) used in the old Yatra as a structured system of providing free ration and Dharamshalas to make this quest more comfortable for the travellers. This trail will also be the third largest trail in the world after those in Japan and America.”
Additional Chief Executive Officer (ACEO – Adventure) Col Ashwini Pundir (Retd), Director, Infrastructure, Col Deepak Khanduri (Retd), Additional Director, UTDB, Vivek Singh Chauhan, Additional Director, UTDB, Poonam Chand, Deputy Director Yogendra Gangwar, Adventure (Land Expert) Ranveer Singh Negi, Founder, CEO, TTH, Rakesh Pant, Project Manager- Char Dham Trail, Sandeep Rawat (Founder/COO- TTH), were present on the occasion.