The Uttarakhand government on Wednesday issued health guidelines for the Chardham Yatra, advising pilgrims to plan at least a seven-day stay in the hill state so that their bodies get acclimatised to the weather.
It has also asked them to carry an umbrella, raincoat and warm clothes and take nutritious food.
The pilgrims have also been advised to do breathing exercise for five-ten minutes and walk for about half an hour daily before leaving for the pilgrimage that begins on April 22.
Those who have any disease must undergo a health checkup and do not undertake the journey without the permission of the doctor, the guidelines said.
State Health Secretary R Rajesh Kumar sent these guidelines all district magistrates of Garhwal region, asking them to give them wide publicity.
Last year, some pilgrims died due to health reasons including heart attacks.
The guidelines state that the Chardhams — Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri — are located in the upper Garhwal Himalayan region at an altitude of more than 2,700 metres.
There can be extreme cold, low humidity, excessive ultra-violet radiation, low wind pressure and low oxygen content in the air, it said.
The pilgrims have been advised to plan their journey for at least seven days to give the body enough time to acclimatise to the environment, the guidelines said.
In case of a health issue during the travel, the pilgrims should reach out to government medical units or contact 104 helpline number, the guidelines said.
The DMs have been asked to encourage and create awareness among the devotees for follow Covid-appropriate behaviour during the yatra.
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