This article aims to describe pilgrimage tourism in the Uttarakhand Himalaya: pilgrims’ inflows and trends. Pilgrimages – highlands and valleys are the main centers of spiritual tourism in the Uttarakhand Himalaya. Data on pilgrims’ inflow in the major pilgrimage centers from 2000 to 2018 were gathered from the Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board, Dehradun. The pilgrims from Indian subcontinents and abroad have been visiting the pilgrimage centers for time immemorial. Inflows of pilgrims in the pilgrimage centers vary from the river valley pilgrimages to the highland pilgrimages. Haridwar, a valley pilgrimage, receives the highest inflow of pilgrims, which is more than 50% of the total pilgrims’ inflows. Meanwhile, Yamunotri, a highland pilgrimage has the lowest inflow of pilgrims from within and outside countries. The main reason for the change in the number of pilgrims in these highland and valley pilgrimages was the availability of infrastructural facilities in the form of transportation and accommodation. In terms of the trends of pilgrims’ inflows during the period, it is not uniform. The state of Uttarakhand is highly vulnerable to climate-induced calamities, which are highly catastrophic, and leads to land degradation and roadblocks. The pilgrimage season in the Himalaya falls during the monsoon season when happy rainfall occurs. High rainfall variability has led to changing the number of pilgrims. This study reveals that pilgrimage tourism has immense potential for the economic development of the Uttarakhand Himalaya if suitable tourism infrastructural facilities are provided.
|Early Pub Date||June 19, 2023|
|Publication Date||December 15, 2023|
|Published in Issue||Year 2023 Volume: 8 Issue: 2|
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