Char dham yatra begins a year after massive calamity
A year after the ‘Char Dham’ yatra was marred by massive flash floods that had left hundreds of people dead and many others stranded, the annual pilgrimage on Friday began with the reopening of the sacred portals of the Himalayan shrines of Gangotri and Yamunotri for devotees.
Amid extensive arrangements to ensure safety of pilgrims, the portals of Gangotri dham dedicated to ‘Mother Ganges’, located in Uttarakashi district, were opened at 1201 hrs on the auspicious occasion of Akshaya Tritiya after the traditional six-month winter break.
A large number of devotees flocked to the temple located at a height of over 10000 ft to witness the ceremony marked by vedic rituals held by the chief priest of the temple in the presence of senior administrative and police officials, Bhatwari SDM KK Singh said.
The Yamunotri shrine dedicated to ‘Mother Yamuna’ in the same district was also reopened to devotees after special prayers and rituals performed by the head priest at 12.25 pm.
The other two famous temples Kedarnath and Badrinath, which are part of the char dhams, are also scheduled to be reopened this week on 4 May and 5 May respectively. Areas close to Kedarnath bore the brunt of the June calamity.