Char Dham Yatra 2023: Day after govt lifts cap on pilgrims, yatra begins with opening of Gangotri, Yamunotri shrines

Kedarnath will throw open its doors on Tuesday and Badrinath will open for pilgrims on next Thursday. File Photo.

Dehradun: The Char Dham Yatra began on Saturday with the opening of Gangotri and Yamunotri temples in Uttarkashi district for pilgrims. The yatra started a day after the Uttarakhand government lifted the cap on the daily number of pilgrims at each shrine, providing relief for pilgrims.

The gates of Gangotri were opened at 12.35 pm and those of Yamunotri at 12.41 pm, officials of the temple committees said.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami performed a puja at Gangotri temple on the occasion of its ceremonial opening after the six-month-long winter closure.

Devotees in Kharsali, goddess Yamuna’s winter abode, were also showered with rose petals from a helicopter. Dhami also offered prayers in Kharsali when goddess Yamuna’s idol, in a decorated palanquin carried by the priests, left in a procession for Yamunotri Dham where she will be worshipped for the next six months.

Welcoming devotees, Dhami said all arrangements had been made by the state government to ensure that they have a smooth and trouble-free pilgrimage.

The chief minister on Friday had also withdrawn his decision to impose a daily limit on the number of pilgrims visiting the four famous Himalayan temples in Uttarakhand. Over 16 lakh pilgrims have already registered for the pilgrimage and the number is rising, he had said.

The Char Dham Yatra in Uttarakhand is one of the most sought after Hindu pilgrimages in the country This pilgrimage is a tour of four holy sites – Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri. Kedarnath will be opened on April 25 followed by Badrinath on April 27.

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