Amid blowing of conches and chanting of vedic hymns and shlokas, Chief priest of Badrinath shrine Rawal Keshava Namboodiri opened the doors of the temple at 0535 hrs this morning as the palanquin carrying the idol of Lord Vishnu was taken inside the sanctum sanctorum, said Anusuiya Prasad Bhatt, Chairman of Shri Badrinath Kedarnath Temple Committee.
During the opening ceremony of the temple, situated at a height of 3,133 meter in Chamoli district, Uttarakhand Disaster Management Minister Khajan Das and principal secretary, Religious Tourism Department Rakesh Sharma were also present along with hundreds of devotees outside the sanctum sanctorum braving chilly winds.
Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank was also scheduled to attend the ceremony but he could not reach Badrinath due to some reason, said Bhatt.
The portals of another famous shrine of Kedarnath in Rudraprayag district were thrown open for pilgrims yesterday and Nishank was among the first ones who paid obeisance at the temple.
With the opening of portals of Badrinath today, all the four shrines collectively known as Chardham have been thrown open for pilgrims.
The Chardham Yatra comprising pilgrimage to Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri nestling in Garhwal Himalayas started with the opening of portals of both Gangotri and Yamunotri shrines on May 6.
Gangotri and Yamunotri shrines are situated at a height of 3,200 meter and 3,615 meter respectively in Uttarkashi district and Kedarnath at a height of 3,584 meter in Rudraprayag district.
The Chardhams reopen in April-May every year after a gap of six months as the area remain snow-bound during the winter period.
The annual yatra is considered as the backbone of thriving religious tourism in the state that attracts nearly 15 lakh pilgrims every year both from India and abroad.