Kedarnath, Yamunotri temples close for winters amid heavy snowfall

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Dehradun, Nov 16 (PTI) The portals of Kedarnath and Yamunotri temples in the Garhwal Himalayas were closed for winters on Bhai Dooj on Monday amid heavy snowfall.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, his Uttar Pradesh counterpart Yogi Adityanath, and priests and officials of Devasthanam Board were present at Kedarnath as the temple gates closed at 8.30 am after an elaborate ceremony.

The two chief ministers arrived at the shrine on Sunday to offer prayers and take a look at the reconstruction projects underway at Kedarpuri.

Later, the gates of Yamunotri were closed at 12.15 pm.

Three out of the famous four Himalayan temples of Uttarakhand, also called Chardham, are now closed for devotees as the Gangotri temple was closed on Sunday.

The Badrinath temple is scheduled to be closed on November 19. The Kedarnath Temple priest also performed a 'Samadhi Puja' of Lord Shiva.

After the ceremony, an idol of Lord Shiva left on board a flower bedecked palanquin, also called Utsav Doli, for the Omkareshwar Temple in Ukhimath where he will be worshipped during the winter season.

Snowfall accompanied by a drizzle began in Kedarnath on Sunday night and continued till the morning.

A total of 1,35,023 pilgrims visited Kedarnath, while 8,000 devotees turned up for darshan at Yamunotri during this season which had a delayed and restricted opening for due to the COVID-19 pandemic in July this year, Devasthanam Board official Harish Gaud said.

Goddess Yamuna's Utsav Doli was taken after the closure of the Yamunotri Temple gates for Kharsali where she will be worshipped during winters. PTI ALM DPB