To encourage pilgrims, portals of Yamunotri shrine to open on May 14
This year the portals of the Yamunotri shrine will be opened on May 14 at about 12.15 pm. The decision on the date of opening the portals was taken by the Yamunotri Dham Mandir Samiti on Sunday on the occasion of Yamuna Jayanti.
After checking the auspicious time from an astrological point of view, the exact time of 12.15 pm on May 14 was arrived at for opening the portals of the Yamunotri shrine for the next six months, Kriteshwar Uniyal, Secretary, Yamunotri Dham Mandir Samiti said. He informed that the portals of the Gangotri shrine will be opened on May 15 on the occasion of Akshay Tritya at around 7.30 am.
In February this year, the date for opening the portals of Badrinath shrine- May 18 -was declared on the occasion of Basant Panchami. Last month the date of opening of the portals of Kedarnath shrine - May 17- was announced. The portals of the Sikh holy shrine Hemkund Sahib in Chamoli district will be opened this year on May 10. On October 10 last year, the portals of Hemkund Sahib were closed for the winter months following all rituals and prayers. The shrine was opened on September 4 last year following relaxations under Unlock 4.0.
Last year Char Dham yatra didn’t start on April 26 with the opening of portals of Yamunotri and Gangotri (first two shrines to open after winter months) as lockdown had been imposed from March 22 due to the pandemic. The Char Dham shrines were opened for local pilgrims on July 1 last year by the state government and for pilgrims from other states in the last week of July. In September, the Uttarakhand government further removed the negative Covid-19 report mandatory for all pilgrims.
According to Char Dham Devasthanam Management Board officials, last year, overall, 3.1 lakh pilgrims participated in the Char Dham Yatra, including 1.3 lakh pilgrims for Kedarnath. In 2019, over 32.40 lakh pilgrims had visited Char Dham shrines including over 10 lakh to Kedarnath, 12.4 lakh to Badrinath, 4.6 lakh to Yamunotri and over 5.3 lakh to Gangotri shrine
Kedarnath, along with Badrinath, Yamunotri and Gangotri, collectively called Char Dham, attract lakhs of pilgrims each year. Traditionally, Char Dham pilgrimage begins from the west from Yamunotri, then proceeding to Gangotri and finally to Kedarnath and Badrinath in the east.