The portals of Badrinath were opened for devotees at 6.15 am on Sunday amid the chanting of Vedic hymns and traditional rituals.
Thousands of devotees from across the country and abroad turned up to witness the ceremonial opening of the Himalayan temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu as chief priest Ishwari Prasad Namboodiri performed the rituals and the ‘vedpathis’ (those of reciting Vedas) recited the hymns. The temple and its precincts were decorated with marigold flowers on the occasion.
With the opening of Badrinath, the Char Dham yatra has started fully now as all the four temples in the circuit are now open for devotees. Gangotri and Yamunotri had opened on May 3 and Kedarnath on May 6. The COVID-19 pandemic had badly hit Char Dham yatra for the past two years delaying the opening of the temples for devotees for months. Their delayed opening with several restrictions imposed on the pilgrims in view of the pandemic drastically reduced the turnout of visitors at the temples.
The yatra is taking place without Covid-induced restrictions after a gap of two years and the crowds are enthusiastic. Devotees had begun to stand in the queue since late on Saturday night waiting for their turn to offer prayers at the temple. Badrinath-Kedarnath Mandir Samiti president Ajendra Ajay, Badrinath MLA Rajendra Singh Bhandari and former MLA Mahendra Bhatt were present as its gates were opened.