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Why you need to see a Doctor Before Planning a Char Dham Trek June 28th, 2019 from Times of India

 Why you need to see a Doctor Before Planning a Char Dham Trek

Deaths at Mt Everest this year caught international attention, but away from the media glare, another category of climbers — the pilgrims to some of the most sacred sites in the Himalayas — have been battling similar challenges: oxygen depletion at high altitudes and serpentine queues on narrow trek routes. Since 2017, 279 people en route Uttarakhand’s four Char Dham shrines have died, mostly due to cardiac arrests at altitudes 3,000 metres above sea level in the Himalayas.

This year alone, 61 pilgrims have died in the first 50 days of the yatra, which means over one death per day.

The annual yatra to Yamunotri , Gangotri , Kedarnath and Badrinath draws lakhs of pilgrims from across the country. The pilgrimage is much publicised and Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself has visited Kedarnath a number of times to meditate in a cave or to oversee reconstruction projects in the temple town. The footfall to Kedarnath has broken all records this year, with over 7 lakh devotees visiting the shrine since its portals opened on May 9.

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