The Uttarakhand government has issued an advisory for Char Dham pilgrims to take necessary medical and trek preparedness measures as they embark on their pilgrimage to high-altitude religious sites over 2700 metres above sea level in the Himalayas.
In the advisory issued on Wednesday, the state government has highlighted the potential risks associated with the extreme cold, low humidity, extreme ultraviolet radiation, low air pressure, and oxygen content at such high altitudes. To ensure a safe pilgrimage, the advisory has asked pilgrims to focus on prevention and plan their trip for at least seven days, allowing time to acclimatize.
The advisory has suggested that pilgrims should take frequent breaks of at least 5-10 minutes every one hour of the trek or every two hours of automobile journey to Char Dham sites. Moreover, pilgrims above 55 or with a history of heart disease, asthma, hypertension, or diabetes have been advised to get a health check-up to ensure fitness for the trip.
For pilgrims with heart diseases, asthma, hypertension, and diabetes, the advisory has recommended carrying all medication and testing devices. They have also been advised to check the weather reports before their travel and ensure they have sufficient warm clothes.
The advisory has strictly asked pilgrims not to undertake the pilgrimage if their doctors advise against it. It also urged them not to have alcohol, caffeinated drinks, sleeping pills, and strong painkillers during the yatra. Instead, the pilgrims should have at least 2 litres of fluid and a nutritious diet throughout the yatra.
The Char Dham yatra includes a pilgrimage to the four holy shrines of Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath, which are located in the higher Himalayas. These shrines attract a large number of devotees every year, especially during the summer months.
With the latest advisory, the Uttarakhand government aims to ensure the safety and well-being of the pilgrims undertaking the Char Dham yatra. The state government has emphasized that the well-being of the pilgrims is of utmost importance, and all necessary measures must be taken to ensure a safe and successful pilgrimage.