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kedar finalNew routes for Char Dham shrines (28th February, 2016) : The Uttarakhand government is planning to search new alternative routes for Char Dham pilgrimages. The alternative route for Kedarnath has already been discovered and similar routes are also being searched for other Char Dham sites. The new routes are being searched for the better options to the tourists.

The new route for Kedarnath shall be from Jaal, Chaumasi villages in Ukhimath block. This route is being considered better options than Soneprayag route. Internal sources say that the rediscovered route was a traditional route for the Kedarnath site in the past.  The Soneprayag route had got damaged in 2013 due to flash flood but now restored.

As per Nehru Institute of Mountaineering,  principal, the Jaal Chaumasi route is the safest one. The trek starts from Jaal Chaumasi and reaches Kedarnath via Reka hills, which is around 13,500 ft. above sea level.

As per the track alignments and the map the pilgrims will have to stay overnight at Khal meadows before climbing Reka hills and then reach to Rambara beside Kedarnath shrine. Then the pilgrims can move towards Kedarnath shrine without crossing Mandakini. This route will be great alternative to the previous route to the pilgrims.

The Uttarakhand Chief Minister said that the governemnrt is in process to identify the ancient traditional routes and acknowledge these paths as heritage routes for Char Dham pilgrimages. Work is also in progress to find out the new routes for Badrinath, Yamunotri and Gangotri.

In addition to above, Prime Minister Modi is expected to visit Uttarakhand next month in March, 2016 to lay the foundation stone of the Char Dham Mahayojana. This mega project will ensure the connectivity of all the religious circuit of Uttarakhand with the country via a network of all – weather roads.  The project is worth Rs. 12000 crore.  Out of the total amount, a sum of Rs. 750 crore has already been released. All the above activities are certainly good for the pilgrimages in the future.     

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