The head priest of the shrine, located at a height of over 11,000 ft, locked its doors at 1:15 pm in the presence of religious heads and administrative officials, Uttarkashi ADM Bhagwat Mishra said. Braving biting cold, around 700 devotees thronged the temple, one of the four Himalayan shrines in Uttarakhand known as Char Dham, to witness the annual event, he said.

After the closure ceremony, the idol of Goddess Ganga was carried in a palanquin to nearby Mukhba village where she will be worshipped during her winter sojourn. The gates of the temple were thrown open for devotees on the occasion of Akshaya Tritiya earlier this year.

Portals of the shrine, which draws a large number of devotees, are closed in October-November every year due to snow-bound conditions in the area.  The other three Himalayan temples known as Char Dham Badrinath, Kedarnath and Yamunotri will be closed over the next few days.

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