Recognising the new challenges that emerged while managing the Char Dham yatra, despite putting in place an online registration system for pilgrims, Satpal Maharaj said that the government is looking at diversifying the offerings for spiritual tourism in the state by creating various thematic spiritual circuits in order to decongest some of the conventional routes.
He said that the government has already identified and developed a few thematic pilgrim circuits in the state like the Navgrah circuit, Bhagwati circuit, Vivekanand circuit, etc. He urged people to take health and safety precautions seriously before embarking on the highly challenging Char Dham yatra because it involves long treks through high-altitude terrains.
Like visitors to high altitude destinations like Ladakh are asked not to venture out straight away before proper acclimatisation with the place, Maharaj said that the pilgrims to Char Dham should also show patience before embarking on the yatra from the base camps. He said that people should wait for their allotted time to start the journey rather than heading straight away after the online registrations.
“People should not hide their health details. That will create problems for everyone,” he said. He said that the government is setting up portable oxygen cylinders every 500 meter, but that alone will not help if people don’t take the health and safety guidelines seriously.
Talking exclusively to ETTravelWorld on the new initiatives of the government to promote tourism, Maharaj said that the state tourism is working actively on the Caravan and Camping policy. He said that open grounds will be identified across the state to set up Caravan stations and camps.
The basic infrastructure like water supply, electricity, and other amenities will be provided at these stations so that the Caravans can park and use these common facilities. The Caravans and camps, he said, will help ease the pressure on the environment resulting from concrete constructions. While Caravans will support in encouraging premium travellers into the state, the camps will cater to the budget travellers, he informed.
While inviting private investment into the Caravan and Camping Tourism, Maharaj said that the government will also pitch in with its own Caravan parks and vehicles in different destinations in the state, Maharaj said. “We already have two Caravans operating in the state,” the Minister said.