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Kedarnath & Yamunotri shrines closed ritually for winter

Thursday, 16 November 2023 | PNS | DEHRADUN

The portals of Kedarnath and Yamunotri shrines were ritually closed to the devotees for winter on the occasion of Bhai Dooj on Wednesday. The portals of Kedarnath in Rudraprayag district were closed at 8:30 am amidst chanting of Vedic hymns and offering of pujas in the presence of over 1,000 devotees and senior district officers. Earlier, the temple was opened at 4 am after which the Samadhi Pujan ritual was started. The chief priest of the shrine Shiv Ling decked up the Shivling from the Sringar Roop to the Samadhi Roop. Following rituals of the Garbh Grah (sanctum sanctorum) of the shrine, the doors of the temple were closed and sealed in the presence of the district administration officials.

Meanwhile, the Panchmukhi idol of the Lord is being ceremoniously taken to the winter abode at the Onkareshwar temple in Ukhimath. After various stops, the procession will reach Ukhimath on November 17. According to the district officials, over 19 lakh pilgrims visited the Kedarnath temple this year.

The Yamunotri temple in Uttarkashi district was also closed for the winter break on Wednesday, a day after the closure of the Gangotri temple. The portals of the Yamunotri temple were closed ritually at 11:57 pm amidst offering of prayers and Vedic rituals.  As part of the closure ritual, the brother of goddess Yamuna, Shanidev Someshwar Devta arrived in palanquin to take his sister to her winter abode at Kharsali. According to the district officials, over 7.34 lakh pilgrims visited the Yamunotri temple this year.

With three of the four Char Dham shrines now closed, the fourth shrine Badrinath will be ceremoniously closed for the winter on November 18. 

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