Badrinath portals thrown open for Chardham pilgrims
The portals of Badrinath shrine were thrown open on Monday for the next six months amid chanting of Vedic hymns. With the all the four sacred Dhams in Uttarakhand are open for pilgrimsdehradun Updated: Apr 30, 2018 21:25 IST
The portals of Badrinath shrine were thrown open on Monday for the next six months amid chanting of Vedic hymns. With the all the four sacred Dhams in Uttarakhand are open for pilgrims.
The portals were opened at 4:30 am amid performance of age-old rituals, a priest said.
Though weather was slightly inclement on Sunday, about 12,000 people made it to the shrine to witness opening of the portals in presence of Ishwari Prasad Namboodari, the head priest.
The shrine decorated with yellow and saffron flowers looked majestic against the backdrop of snow capped Neelkanth.
A long queue of devotees started to form from late Sunday night in front of Singhdwar, the temple’s main door.
Since 3:15 am, beats of the army band lent a melodious air. By 3:30 am, the head priest started the rituals for opening the portals.
Women from Mana village performed the ritual of dance along with folk songs to celebrate homecoming of Lord Badri Vishal – the main deity of the shrine.
The Doli of Laxmi, who accompanies her husband Narain during the winters, was taken to Laxmi temple and Udhav, Narain’s elder brother, was brought back to the Badrinath temple along with Kuber to stay with Badri Vishal for the next six months.
Like yester years, the idol of Badri Narain was covered with Ghee and blanket during his winter sojourn in the temple. Before the portals were opened for the devotees, the Lord was decked with finery and ancient ornaments beset with precious stones and diamonds.
There is hustle and bustle not only at Badrinath, situated at 10,000 ft but also at Joshimath, the base town for Badrinath, is also full of hope and enthusiasm to see the beginning of the Chardham yatra season.
Last year, 8.85 lakh pilgrims made it to Badrinath, 4.71 lakh to Kedarnath, 4.09 lakh to Gangotri and 3.92 lakh to Yamnotri. This year, the number is likely to go up well beyond 30 lakh in all Chardhams, saidHarish Gaur, the spokesperson of Shri Badrinath-Shri Kedarnath Temples Committee.
Till May last year, 16 pilgrims died due to heart attack including four in Badrinath shrine. Learning lessons, the state government said comprehensive medical facilities would be ensured this year.
Official claimed proper arrangement of medical relief post, medical units, ambulance, blood bank, trauma centre have been put in place on the yatra routes.
Nitesh Jha, secretary (health), said Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber has been installed in Badrinath and similar service will be introduced at Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri soon.
This comes after last year couple of patients complained of breathlessness. Six sigma health care centre from Delhi will provide specialised health services till June 21 on the yatra routes and the government is also coordinating with major hospitals of Uttarakhand.