The yatra to Badrinath and the Kedarnath shrines has been stopped briefly due to incessant snowfall and rains. More than four dozen pilgrims were forced to abort the trek.

It has been snowing in the Himalayas since Friday afternoon, making the new 24-km long trek from Joshimath towards Kedarnath extremely hazardous and risky, an official said.

Rains and dark clouds compounded the travel plans further. A heavy storm accompanied by rains blew away a tent on Thursday and grounded the onward journey to Kedarnath.

As a result of harsh weather conditions, there was a considerable drop in the number of pilgrims to these two shrines. The number of pilgrims to reach Badrinath on Friday was 50. The two shrines will close late November due to winter and will remain shut for over six months.

The Kedarnath shrine area was ravaged in the June flash floods that killed thousands and devastated the roads and bridges to the shrine. The Uttarakhand government has now decided to control the number of pilgrims to these two shrines.

Earlier, there was no such bar on the number of vehicles and people going to these shrines, including at Gangotri and Yamunotri.

(Agencies)

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