Access to the Valley of Flowers and Hemkund Sahib is now closed for the winters as of 11 October 2018. Visitors will be able to visit the Valley again from June 2019 onwards. The exact date for opening next year will be decided by the Forest Department after their usual inspection of the routes for the safety of the visitors.
This year a record 1,59,163 pilgrims visited the shrine of Hemkund Sahib. This is a record figure after the previous high in year 2012.
As we had pointed out in our previous article on visitor statistics to the Char Dhams, the number of visitors to the four shrines in Uttarakhand fell drastically after the well known disaster of June 2013. This year (2018) the statistics indicate that a new high has been reached in visits to the four shrines. The visitor statistics as of 15 October 2018 are as follows:
Badrinath – 9,60,434
Kedarnath – 7,03,727
Gangotri – 4,28,888
The shrines are still open and we are still counting.
Note: We thank the Chamoli District Police for the above statistics.