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Postponed Char Dham yatra now begins on July 1 for local pilgrims
This year's postponed Char Dham yatra will begin in phases from July 1. People from a district where a shrine is located will visit that shrine. In the second phase beginning July 11, all the people of the State are allowed to visit all the dhams.

NEW DELHI, June 22: The Char Dham yatra will begin on July 1 for the pilgrims from the respective districts, where the four shrines are situated. These districts are Uttarkashi, Rudraprayag and Chamoli. As Yamunotri and Gangotri are located in Uttarkashi district, the people of the district can go to these two shrines. Likewise, residents of Rudraprayag can visit Kedarnath and those from Chamoli can go to Badrinath.

In the second phase beginning July 11, the four dhams will be open to all the people in the State, it has been announced.

Meanwhile, the Government has extended the covid lockdown till June 29. Pilgrims will have to register themselves online and bring a negative covid test report. The State Government had earlier postponed the yatra, which was scheduled to start on May 14, because of the second wave of covid.

Char dham yatra refers to the pilgrimage to the four holy places called Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath located in the State of Uttarakhand. While Yamunotri and Gangotri fall in the district of Uttarkashi, Kedarnath is in Rudraprayag district and Badrinath in Chamoli district. According to Hindu mythology, Yamunotri is the abode of Goddess Yamuna, Gangotri of Goddess Ganga, Kedarnath of Lord Shiva and Badrinath is dedicated to Lord Badri or Vishnu.

There is no restriction on foreigners visiting the temples, nor women. Anybody who is healthy and can trek the Himalayas can go. There is no dress code either. These temples are open for six months from May till Ocober. The administering trusts fix the auspicious days for opening and closing every year. A convenient starting point for the pilgrimage is the holy Haridwar town in the plains of the State, which can be reached from anywhere easily by road or train. By air one can fly to Dehra Dun and reach Haridwar by road.

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