News at 9: Machu Picchu reopens for visitors, Uttarakhand’s Char Dham Yatra to begin in April and more

News at 9: Peru extends visitor capacity at Machu Picchu, New trekking routes in Uttarakhand and more

Machu Picchu reopens for visitors after being closed for a month, Uttarakhand’s Char Dham Yatra to begin in April, Russia to ease tourist visa requirements and more in top stories of the day.

Machu Picchu reopens for visitors

The Inca citadel of Machu Picchu is now open again for tourists, after entry was suspended in December and January amid social unrest in Peru.

Reportedly, 38 domestic tourists and 45 foreigners were the first to enter, while 700 visitors went into the sanctuary over the course of the day. Built in the 15th century likely for an Incan emperor, the mountain citadel of Machu Picchu was abandoned around the time of the Spanish conquest, and later, rediscovered in 1911 by American explorer Hiram Bingham. Do note that travellers are required to obtain a permit to visit Machu Picchu, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Uttarakhand’s Char Dham Yatra to begin in April

After the long winter break of six months, it is time for the annual Char Dham Yatra. Come April, the four shrines of Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri in Uttarakhand will be open to the public.

The annual Char Dham Yatra will officially begin on Akshaya Tritiya (April 22). The portals of Gangotri and Yamunotri Dhams will open on this day. The Kedarnath Dham will open to the public on April 25, 6:20 AM. The Badrinath Dham, however, will open on April 27. Char Dham Yatra, one of the most prominent pilgrimages for Hindus in India, takes place in four holy sites in the mountains of Uttarakhand. The holy yatra starts from Yamunotri in Uttarkashi and moves to Gangotri, also in the same district. The third destination of the tour is the Kedarnath shrine in Rudraprayag district. The final destination is Badrinath in Chamoli district. The Char Dham covers a total distance of 1,607 km.

Russia to ease tourist visa requirements for friendly countries, including India

If reports are to go by, 11 countries will enjoy visa-free travel, and ease tourist visa requirements for some other countries including India.

Russia is also planning to restart its e-visa programme for about 70 countries. The e-visa programme was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Plans to introduce e-visa facilities for Indian travellers are underway. Places like Moscow, St. Petersburg, Lake Baikal, the frigid Yakutsk, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Sochi, Kizhi Island, Kazan and Vladivostok are some of the famous places in Russia that are waiting to welcome back tourists.

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