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Kedar sees record 4.5L turnout in 1st 25 days, likely to cross 15L this yr

Dehradun: The highest ever pilgrim turnout at Kedarnath was in 2019, when 10 lakh people visited the shrine. Nearly half of that number has already been reached this year in just 25 days of the yatra, as 4.5 lakh people have visited the shrine since its opening on May 6. This year may set a new record for maximum footfall at Kedarnath and the number may well cross 15 lakh, said experts.
"The number of Kedarnath pilgrims in the first month is already more than double in the same duration in previous years. In fact , the number has already surpassed the total pilgrim footfall at Kedarnath in the entire length of the Yatra in every year since 1988, barring four. And this is despite a daily cap on pilgrims put by the state. We are expecting the turnout to cross 15 lakh by the end of the pilgrimage," said BD Singh, CEO of Badri-Kedar Temple Committee.
After 2019, the maximum pilgrim rush at the shrine was in 2018, when 7.32 lakh thronged it, followed by 5.73 lakh pilgrims in 2012, 5.57 lakh in 2007 and 5.71 lakh in 2011. These are the only years when the pilgrim rush exceeded what has been witnessed at Kedarnath in May.
Singh attributed the record turnout to improved road conditions, a two-year "gap" and "most importantly" , frequent visits to the shrines by PM Modi. Meanwhile, Badrinath shrine has also recorded a footfall of 4 lakh in the first month, highest in that duration in recorded history. Like Kedarnath, Badrinath shrine has also witnessed record footfall of 4 lakh, the highest ever in the first month of the yatra. Shweta Choubey, Superintendent of Police (SP) Chamoli told "The number of pilgrims visiting the shrine in the first month is unprecedented in recent history. The highest turnout was in 2019, when around 12.44 lakh pilgrims visited Badrinath over the entire yatra period."
Notably, the state government has put a daily limit of 16,000 for Badrinath, 13,000 for Kedarnath, 8,000 for Gangotri and 5,000 for Yamunotri on Char Dham pilgrims.

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