Uttarakhand: The gates of the Badrinath temple in Uttarakhand were opened at 4.30 am on Friday and the first prayers to Lord Badri Vishal were performed on behalf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
A very limited number of people including the chief priest were present at the temple and social distancing norms have been maintained. This is for the first time in history, that devotees were not present at the dham when the gates were opened.
As soon as the gates of the sanctum sanctorum were opened, Rawal Ishwari Prasad Namboodri entered and removed the woollen blanket that was offered to God during the winter season. Then a grand puja was performed.
Media in-charge of Uttarakhand Chardham Devasthanam Board, Harish Gaur said that the social distancing was followed in view of the coronavirus lockdown, masks were worn and cleanliness was taken care of.
He said, “After the opening of the doors, the sound of Veda mantras made Badrishpuri resonant and the temple was shining with electric lights with flower decorations. The Char Dham Yatra could not begin in view of the corona epidemic this year. Only the doors have been opened. Devasthanam Board had completed the preparations for opening of the valve.”
Char Dham Yatra
District Magistrate Swati S. Bhadauria said, “The social distance in the Dham campus will be completely followed. Everyone must wear a mask. Instructions have been issued that priests arriving in the Dham till the lockdown period will not be allowed to go elsewhere from the Badrinath area without the permission of the administration.”
Earlier, the date of opening of the gates of the dham was fixed on April 30 but due to COVID-19 crisis, the date of opening of the doors was shifted to May 15.