Chardham Yatra begins with opening of Yamunotri, Gangotri portals
The annual Chardham Yatra in Uttarakhand began Wednesday with the opening of the portals of Gangotri and Yamunotri shrines for devotees amid rituals and chanting of Vedic hymnsdehradun Updated: Apr 18, 2018 22:47 IST
The annual Chardham Yatra in Uttarakhand began Wednesday with the opening of the portals of Gangotri and Yamunotri shrines for devotees amid rituals and chanting of Vedic hymns. The portals to the two other shrines — part of the four fabled dhams — Kedarnath and Badrinath would open on April 29 and April 30, respectively.
After being closed for nearly six months during winter, the gates of the Gangotri were reopened at 1:15pm and that of Yamunotri at 12:15 pm, officials of the temple committees concerned said.
The palanquin carrying the idol of Goddess Ganga had started from Mukhwa village, the winter abode of the deity, on April 17. After making a night halt at Bhairon Ghati, the palanquin reached the Gangotri temple, situated on the banks of River Bhagirathi at a height of 3048 metres above the sea level, at around 10 am. Special prayers were conducted by the priests for over three hours before the formal opening of the portals, secretary of Gangotri temple committee Suresh Semwal said.
A similar ceremony was held at Yamunotri, secretary of the temple committee Kriteshwar Uniyal said. Large number of devotees had reached Kharsali, the winter abode of Goddess Yamuna, as her palanquin started for Yamunotri where the deity would stay for the next six months. The palanquin of Shani Dev joined that of his sister, Goddess Yamuna, midway.
The portals of the Yamunotri temple, situated at the height of 3291 metres, against the backdrop of Bandarpunch mountain, were opened at 12.15pm. The locals consider Yamuna as a daughter of the area. Rice cooked in the hot spring at Yamunotri was distributed as prasad.
The portals of Kedarnath and Badrinath shrines, the other two major temples of the Chardham Yatra, are scheduled to be reopened on April 29 and April 30 respectively.
All these Himalayan temples in Uttarakhand are visited by lakhs of pilgrims from across the country and abroad every year.