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Chardham tourist season begins from Apr 30

April 28, 2006 14:12 IST

Gangotri and Yamunotri will be thrown open to pilgrims from April 30. Devotees keen to catch a glimpse of Lord Badrinath and Lord Kedarnath will have to wait till May 4 when these two sites will reopen as well. 

This will mark the beginning of the tourist season not only in and around Chardhams but also across the state.

The holy Sikh shrine of Hemkund Sahib will allow visitors from June 5.

All the five shrines were closed in the winter months of October/November.

While small townships along the route of these shrines are gearing up for the tourist season, the twin townships of Dehradun and Mussoorie are all set to play host to the rush of tourists in the next two months.

"Though Mussoorie and Dehradun have tourists almost round the year, the busy season begins in May and ends on July 15," said Ashok Aggarwal, a local guide.

"There are over 300 hotels in these hill resorts which can accomodate 6,000 tourists a day. Besides, we have 200 budget guest houses for those who cannot afford hotel accomodation. In June, due to acute shortage of water, we have to ask for water tankers," said a hotel owner. "Peak season also means a spurt in employment for cycle rickshaw pullers and horse owners."

Handcart is now banned in Mussoorie and this has been replaced by cycle rickshaws. The hill station has about 150 horse owners who lend their horses to tourists during peak season.

"The trolley to Gunhill on mall road is one of the biggest tourist attractions and fetches a lot of money. A ropeway at the Kempty Falls has helped collecting money for the Gharwal Vikas Mandal Nigam. It has also made going to the bottom of the falls easy," said Anil Pandi, who constructed a five star hotel in Mussoorie in collaboration with a Ludhiana firm.

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Onkar Singh in New Delhi
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