The date was set by the religious seers on the holy occassion of 'Akshaya Tritiya' and Chief Minister Harish Rawat participated in the pilgrimage at Kharsali where he shouldered the holy 'doli' headed for Yamunotri.

The Gangotri gates opened at 12.30 p.m. while the gates of Yamunotri in Uttarkashi district opened at 11.30 a.m. The gates of the other two shrines -- Kedarnath and Badrinath -- will open at 8.30 am on April 24 and 5.15 am on April 26, officials said.

The annual pilgrimage draws lakh of devotees every year but the yatra witnessed a steep fall of pilgrims after the 2013 flash floods which killed thousands during the yatra.

Many since then have been missing.The Uttarakhand government has assured that all arrangements have been made this time and there is no reason to worry.

Inclement weather, rain and snowfall had hampered the development and restoration work at many places en route to the shrines earlier this month.


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