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PTI | Dehradun | Apr 21, 2015:: The annual Chardham yatra commenced on Tuesday with the opening of the sacred portals of the Himalayan shrines of Gangotri and Yamunotri after a six-month winter break.
The portals of Gangotri shrine, which is located at a height of over 10,000ft in Uttarkashi district and is dedicated to Mother Ganga, were opened at 12.30pm amidst prayers and vedic rituals, Bhatwari SDM Har Giri said.
The portals of the Yamunotri shrine, which is also located at a height of over 10,000ft in Uttarkashi district and is dedicated to Mother Yamuna, were opened at 11.30am.
Elaborate arrangements have been made for the safety of the pilgrims, Giri said.
SDRF personnel have been deployed along the routes to the shrines of Gangotri and Yamunotri for the safety of the pilgrims and JCB’s have been placed along patches prone to landslides to avoid delay in opening roads that get blocked during landslides, he said.
Chief minister Harish Rawat visited the Gangotri shrine and said that the state was now well equipped to ensure a safe pilgrimage for all and that a better inflow of pilgrims was expected this year.
The portals of two remaining shrines of Kedarnath and Badrinath that are included in the Chardhams will be opened on April 24 and April 26, respectively.
The shrines are closed for six winter months, during which the idols in the shrine are shifted to their winter abodes.
While the yatra to the shrines of Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath was closed for winters, yatra to their winter abodes continued under the state government’s initiative of carrying out the Chardham yatra throughout the year.
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