Ancient Route to Char Dham to be Revived
The ancient route to Char Dham in Uttarakhand, which is said to have been used by the Pandavas of the Mahabharata some 3,000 years ago, is to be revived. The Char Dham are four places (Badrinath, Dwaraka, Puri and Rameswaram) which is considered to be the places which will help them attain nirvana. The ancient pilgrim sites in Uttarakhand such as Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath are considered chota Char Dham. The government plans to revive the ancient trekking trail that is said to have been used 3,000 years ago by the Pandavas, the five protagonist brothers of Mahabharata.
The tourism department of Uttarakhand is offering cash prize of Rs 1 lakh and Rs 51,000 for first and second prizes respectively for those who can provide information on the tour. The information should include maps, photographs, and details of stop-over. Applicants also have the opportunity to win third and fourth prize for Rs 21,000 and Rs 10,000 respectively if they are physically challenged and blind.
“Around 2,000 tourists trek the 230-km route, through Annapurna peak in Nepal. The Inca circuit in Peru, established in 1450, is frequented by a large number of tourists every year. On the same lines, we are going to open the ancient Char Dham route which was used by Pandavas around 3000 years ago, which Adi Shankaracharya named the Chota Char Dham in the 8th Century,” said Satpal Maharaj, Tourism Minister of Uttarakhand.
‘Been There, Doon That’, a local walkers’ and trekkers’ group, has already managed to locate the rest stops along the route, many of which are reportedly in a bad state. River crossings, cave shelters and other natural features have also been identified and recorded, and the routes have been digitally mapped.