The doors, ‘kapat’ of the the Shri Badrinath Dham situated at the heights of Himalayas were closed for tourists on November 19. Now Badrinath Dham yatra will remain shut for nearly six months to observe an yearly tradition of winter break which is justified by the heavy snowfall in the region making the shrines inaccessible for tourists.
Earlier in the last week, the other three temples of the Chardham – Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamnotri were also closed. The temple authorities and the government of Uttarakhand held ceremonies to offer closure prayers at all the four shrines before relocating the idols and Shivalingas to its winter residence. While Gangotri Dham was shut for winters on Sunday, the Kedarnath and Yamnotri were closed on Bhaidooj, the next day.
The closure process of the Badrinath temple started with Panchak Puja. Following this the idol of the lord Badrinath will be taken in a sacred palanquin to Joshimath where it will be placed in temple for the winter break. The locals organize welcome celebration for the lord and devotees visit Joshimath to pay their Obeisance during winters.
Similarly, prayers and the traditions were performed at the other three temples following which the idols left in a palanquin covered in flowers, also called Utsav Doli to their winter residences. While the Jyotirlinga of the lord Shiva in the Kedarnath temple was taken to Omkareshwar temple Ukhimath, the Utsav Dolis of Goddess Yamuna and Ganga left for Kharsali and Mukhba village respectively where they will be worshipped in winters.
This year, despite the Covid 19 crisis, nearly two lakh people visited the Chardham temples including over 1 Lakh alone in Kedarnath and around 8000 in yamnotri. UP CM Yogi Adityanth and his counterpart in Uttarakhand Trivendra Singh Rawat remained present in the closing cereminies of the temple. The UP CM on this occassion also laid foundation of UP guest house for tourists in Badrinath.
The Char Dham Yatra is expected to resume for tourists after the reopening of the temples somewhere in April or may during Spring and Summer season.
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