Dehradun: Devotees on Thursday thronged the famous Himalayan shrine of Badrinath in Uttarakhand as its sacred portals were thrown open to the public after six months of closure due to snow-bound conditions.

Amid chanting of Vedic hymns and blowing of conch shells, the gates of the shrine, which are located at a height of 10,000 feet were reopened at 4 AM by Rawal, the head priest, in the presence of religious heads and administrative officials, Chairman of the Badrinath-Kedarnath Temple committee Ganesh Godiyal said.

The ritual opening of the portals of the high altitude shrine took place after the idol of Lord Vishnu was reinstalled in its sanctum sanctorum, he said.

With reopening of the gates of Badrinath, all Char Dhaam sites in Uttarakhand are now open to the public.

The portals of Gangotri, Yamunotri and Kedarnath have already been opened.

Badrinath Dham along with the other Char Dhaam shrines in the Himalayas is closed every year for six months due to snow-bound conditions during winter and reopened for visitors in April-May.

The schedule for reopening the temple's portals had been formally announced by the Rajpurohit of the erstwhile Tehri royal family at their palace in Narendra Nagar in February this year.

During the long winter recess, Lord Vishnu's idol is worshipped at Narsingh Temple at nearby Joshimath.    

(Agencies)

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