Several travel agencies that organise group travels have cancelled bookings till June 30
Hundreds of pilgrims in the State, who were getting ready to undertake the Char Dham yatra in Uttarakhand, have been forced to cancel their trip, as nature’s fury has devastated infrastructure in the Garhwal division.
While most trips that would have started from Monday were cancelled, several travel agencies that organise group travels to Char Dham (Kedarnath, Badrinath, Yamunotri and Gangotri) have been cancelled or postponed. Bookings have also stopped at least till June 30.
It is estimated that annually at least 30,000 pilgrims from Karnataka visit Uttarakhand through travel agencies and several thousands travel on their own. The months of May-June and September-October are peak pilgrimage season to visit Char Dham and at least 10,000 people visit in the May-June season.
Tourists also visit that mountainous state for adventure activities such as white water rafting, trekking and skiing.
“We have stopped taking bookings till June 30 and further bookings will depend on the climatic conditions. While many have cancelled their trip, some have postponed it,” an official at Southern Travels, which organised group trips to Char Dham, told The Hindu .
Currently about 300 pilgrims from Karnataka, who were part of group trips, have been stranded in various places across Uttarakhand.
“Though accommodation has not been a problem, food supply has become a little difficult as hotels had not anticipated such a huge problem,” he added.
With uncertainty lingering over Garhwal region, Uttarakhand Tourism, among the biggest group trips operators, has also reported cancellation as well as postponement.
“We will be operating trips depending on conditions there. We have seen several cancellations as well as postponements,” said its public relations officer Anurag Dangwal.
The Uttarakhand Tourism will kept tourists updated about the weather conditions and commencement of the yatra.
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