John Mcphee described the Himalayas as the “crowning achievement of the Indo-Australian plate” in his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, ‘Annals of the Former World’.
The biodiverse vistas of the Himalayas are home to several exotic species such as the Snow Leopard, Musk Deer, and about 10 percent of the world’s known plant species—to name a few of its gems. One can easily notice a transition from tropical to temperate to coniferous vegetation and grasslands in the landscape with an increase in altitude. And nestled in the remote parts of the northern Himalayas are four significant Hindu pilgrimage centers, considered to be the ultimate pilgrimage for a devotee: The Char Dhams—Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath. [caption id="attachment_17595" align="alignnone" width="965"] Aerial View of Char Dham. Source: Google Earth Pro In 2016[/caption] The Government of India inaugurated a 900 km long, 2 lane (12 metre wide) highway project called the ‘Char Dham Mahamarg Vikas Pariyojana’ (Char Dham Highway Development Project), with the motive of boosting religious tourism in the Char Dhams.