Badrinath portals open for pilgrims
The portals of the Badrinath shrine situated in Chamoli district were opened today for pilgrims after the six-month winter break. Hundreds of pilgrims from across the country congregated for the opening ceremony held on the temple premises. The head priest chanted Vedic hymns and completed mandatory rituals before opening the portals at 4:35 am. Devotees paid obeisance to “Akhand Jyoti” at the temple. Before the portals of the shrine were opened, the idols of Kuber and Uddhav were installed at the sanctum sanctorum, while the idol of Goddess Lakshmi was shifted from the sanctum sanctorum to the Lakshmi Temple. BD Singh, chief operating officer, Badrinath shrine, said around 8,000 pilgrims from across the country witnessed the opening ceremony. Necessary boarding and lodging arrangements had been made for pilgrims. Laddo made of local vegetable “Chulai” was distributed among pilgrims, he added. BD Singh hoped that a large number of pilgrims would visit the shrine this year as basic infrastructure had been reconstructed along the yatra route post-2013 flash floods. Meanwhile, the weather failed to dampen the spirit of the pilgrims who congregated at the shrine decked up with garlands of marigold flowers. At another religious function, one of the ‘Panch Kedars’ known as the Tungnath temple was opened for pilgrims after rituals. The sacred portals of the temple were opened at 11 am. Earlier, the “Utsav Doli”. reached the temple from Chopta on Tuesday night.