The portals of Badrinath shrine in Chamoli district were opened on Sunday morning in the presence of around 15,000 pilgrims and the first prayers were held in the name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the welfare and good health of all.
The portals were opened at 6.15am amid the rituals performed by the head priest known as Rawal and other priests of the shrine. The shrine was decked up with 20 quintals of flowers, brought from Rishikesh. The palanquin of Lord Badrinath Dham along with the holy seat of Adi Guru Shankaracharya accompanied by Rawal of Badrinath, Ishwar Prasad Namboodiri had reached Badrinath Shrine on Saturday.
The portals of all the Char Dhams are now open.
The ritual of opening the portals started at 4 am. Rawal Ishwar Prasad Namboodiri along with Dharmadhikari Bhuvan Chandra Uniyal and Vedpathi Acharyas started worshipping at the main gate of the temple after which they entered the sanctum sanctorum of the temple at 6.15am with the proclamations of “Shri Badri Vishal ki Jai” (Hail Lord Badrinath). During the temple opening ceremony, the shrine area resonated with devotional music performed by Garhwal Scouts band.
Chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami congratulated all devotees on the opening of the portals and wished good health to the people.
Badarinath, located in Chamoli district along the banks of the Alaknanda River at a height of 3,133 metres, is one of the holiest shrines for Hindus, especially Vaishnavites. It is also part of Panch Badri temples including Yog Dhyan Badri, Bhavishya Badri, Adi Badri and Vriddha Badri. The temple is around 50 feet tall with a small cupola on top, covered with a gold gilt roof. The temple complex has 15 idols, including the image of Lord Badarinath, sculpted in black stone. According to local priests, Adiguru Shankaracharya discovered a black stone image of Lord Badarinarayan made of Saligram stone in the Alaknanda River. He originally enshrined it in a cave near the Tapt Kund hot springs. In the 16th century, the King of Garhwal moved the idol to the present location of the temple.
Char Dham yatra started on May 3 with the opening of the portals of Gangotri and Yamunotri Dham. On May 6, the portals of Kedarnath Dham were opened. Char Dham shrines remain shut for around six months every year, opening in summer (April or May) and closing with the onset of winter (October or November). So far over 8 lakh pilgrims have registered themselves for the Char Dham yatra.
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