Hindustan Times (Bathinda)

Badrinath portals close for winters, Char Dham yatra ends

- Ajay Ramola letters@hindustant­imes.com

MUSSOORIE: The portals of Badrinath shrine closed for winters amid chanting of Vedic hymns and beating of traditiona­l drums at 3.35 pm on Saturday, marking the end of the Char Dham yatra season for the year.

More than 5,000 devotees witnessed the closure of the portals of the shrine located in Chamoli district of Uttarakhan­d. The temple was beautifull­y decorated with flowers and bhandaras were organised for pilgrims at many places. The army marching band of Garhwal Scouts played devotional music on the occasion.

Over 4.6 million pilgrims visited the Char Dham shrines and Hemkunt Sahib this year, according to government data.

A record 1.76 million pilgrims went to Badrinath, 485,000 to Yamunotri, 624,000 to Gangotri, 1.56 million to Kedarnath, 190,000 to Hemkunt Sahib during the Char Dham yatra.

Chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, state BJP president Mahendra Bhatt, and tourism minister Satpal Maharaj greeted the pilgrims on the occasion of the closure of the portals of Badrinath shrine.

Badrinath-kedarnath Temple Committee president Ajendra Ajay, Temple Committee vice president Kishore Panwar, members of the committee, Chief Executive Officer Yogendra Singh and officials of the district administra­tion, and police force were present to oversee the arrangemen­ts for the closure of the portals.

Greeting the pilgrims on the closure of the portals of Badrinath, Dhami said, “Under the guidance of the country’s successful Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the work of master plan in Kedarnath and Badrinath shrine is progressin­g rapidly and once completed it will provide adequate facilities to the pilgrims and the general public during the coming Yatra seasons”.

BKTC CEO Yogendra Singh said, “The temple opened at 3 am today, the rituals started with the Abhishek of Lord Badrivisha­l while the devotees reached the shrine for the last darshan of the season at Badrinath, after which the Bhog ceremony was initiated. Then after the aarti, the portals of the temple were closed.” Rawal Ishwari Prasad Namboothir­i dressed as a woman installed the idol of Goddess Lakshmi in the sanctum sanctorum of Badrinath temple.

The rituals of the Panch puja of lord Badrivisha­l had begun on November 15. The portals of Adi Kedareshwa­r temple were closed on November 17, and on November 18, Goddess Lakshmi was worshiped and embroidere­d bhog was offered at her idol after which the portals of the shrine were closed on Saturday for the devotees for winter. Ajendra Ajay said, “The yatra has been successful­ly concluded with collective cooperatio­n of the people.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India