Dehradun, June 20: Pilgrimage to the shrines of Kedarnath and Badrinath in Uttarakhand cannot resume for three years due to extensive damage caused by heavy rains and floods, an official said on Thursday.
Officials of the two shrines say the two places have been so badly devastated that there was nothing "but mud, devastation and death" around the highly revered temples visited by millions.
BD Singh, chief executive Officer of the Badrinath-Kedarnath Temple Committee, said that the chances of reviving the pilgrimage "for the next few years" was grim.
"What we are seeing is very painful and unbelievable," he said. "We don't expect the Char Dham Yatra to resume in the next three years."
The Indian Army and other forces have launched a massive rescue operation in these areas to save thousands of pilgrims and tourists left stranded. Only 150 people have been officially declared to be dead but highly placed sources said that the number could rise sharply in the days ahead.