The holy Char Dham yatra to Badrinath, Kedarnath, Yamunotri and Gangotri in Uttarakhand has been halted owing to heavy rains in the upper reaches of the state.
“Yatra to Kedarnath has been suspended for safety reasons till July 18 in view of the MeT department warning of heavy rains in the area,” Rudraprayag District Magistrate Raghav Langar said.
Reports coming in from the four holy destinations stated that hundreds of pilgrims have got stranded there.
A report claimed that yoga guru Baba Ramdev, along with around 400 students, has also got stuck at Gangotri due to blocking of routes. The Uttarakhand DGP lamented the fact that Ramdev went to Gangotri with students despite an alert and warned of legal action if anything happened to the children.
Also, over 150 pilgrims returning from Kedarnath got stuck at Neeltoli in Rudraprayag district after a bridge over Saraswati river got washed away.
The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has warned of heavy to very heavy rainfall in parts of the state over the next 48 hours beginning Wednesday.
However, the IMD said the rainfall will not be anywhere close to the one witnessed last year that led to the June 16-17 flash floods.
Reports said heavy rainfall has been lashing Joshimath since last night, and Alaknanda and Mandakini rivers are on the surge.
The Char Dham yatra was halted after heavy rains caused landslides. The landslides were reported on the Rudraprayag-Gaurikund national highway and on the Sonprayag-Kedarnath trek in Rudraprayag district, reports said.
According to IMD director BP Yadav, a low-pressure system was moving in from north Chhattisgarh which will cause heavy rainfall in the state of Uttarakhand.
According to the alert, heavy rainfall has been predicted for Uttarkashi, Chamoli, Pithoragarh, Champawat, Nainital, Almora and Udhamsingh Nagar districts.