The Char Dham Yatra to Kedarnath was halted on Monday by the Uttarakhand Police after the India Meteorological Department issued an orange alert due to a heavy downpour in the state, ANI reported. An orange alert indicates very heavy rains between 6 cm to 20 cm.

“After the orange alert and incessant rain since morning, we have stopped devotees on foot and have been urging them to return to their hotels,” Pramod Kumar, the circle officer in Rudraprayag, told ANI. “Do not hike to the temple for now and stay safe.”

Kedarnath opened up for devotees on May 6, NDTV reported. The Char Dham Yatra began on May 3. It involves pilgrimage to four shrines of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri.

Over 10,000 pilgrims are presently waiting for the pilgrimage to resume. Only the pilgrims who have reached Kedarnath and were staying overnight were being escorted to the shrine, and then sent back, KN Goswami, a nodal officer at Kedarnath, told the Hindustan Times.

However, the pilgrimage to Gangotri, Yamunotri, Hemkund Sahib, and Badrinath is underway, the Hindustan Times reported.

Meanwhile, the India Meteorological Department issued an alert for thunderstorms and and strong winds of 70 km per hour to 80 km per hour in Uttarakhand for Tuesday and Wednesday.

The state reported 10.7 mms of rainfall in the 24 hours till 8.30 am on Monday, the Hindustan Times reported.