The noble Char Dham Yatra began with the opening of Gangotri and Yamunotri portals for devotees on May 3. Char Dham Yatra is a pilgrimage site in India, and the people believe that visiting these places helps achieve moksha. However, at least 39 people lost their lives this year on their way to the Himalayan temple since the beginning of the Char Dham Yatra. The Health Department (HD), stated that the cause of death is due to mountain sickness, high blood pressure, cardiac and other related health issues.
Risks Involved In Travelling High Altitudes
According to the Uttarakhand Health Department (HD), the cause of the deaths so far is altitude sickness. Altitude sickness is also called mountain sickness, caused by climbing or walking to a greater elevation. Most of these deaths have taken place on the travel routes for the pilgrims.
Pilgrims who are medically not fit are advised not to travel at the higher altitudes. The health officials have informed that the pilgrim's health check-up is being done at various places on the travel routes, reported NDTV.
According to a survey report, Around 38 lakh pilgrims participated in the Yatra in 2019, with around 90 pilgrims dying. 112 pilgrims died in 2017, and 102 pilgrims died in 2018. These deaths are also caused due to health issues of people travelling at high altitudes.
Medical Precautions Should Be Done Before Travelling
Pilgrims have been advised to give themselves at least 24 hours to acclimatize to high altitudes before undertaking the journey. Coming abruptly from plain areas to high altitudes could be risky. Staying hydrated is also very important in preventing altitude sickness.
After the health screening, the passengers who are found to have any physical illness are being advised to rest or go on the journey only when they are fit with their health conditions, reported Times Of India.