Dehradun: Priests and temple committees concerned have unanimously approved a proposal to start an annual yatra to places where the char dham deities are worshipped during their winter sojourn.
The idols and symbols installed at Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri are removed to villages located in lower areas nearby to be worshipped during winter when the famous Himalayan shrines, also known as char dham, remain closed due to snowbound conditions.
Stakeholders at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Harish Rawat here yesterday were unanimous in their view that apart from the annual yatra to the famous temples, a yatra to centres where the Hindu idols and symbols are kept during winter can also be started saying it will not be in violation of the centuries-old religious traditions and beliefs.
If yatra is conducted to the winter sojourns of the deities and symbols of the four shrines, it will be a new beginning and will make the yatra season in Uttarakhand an year-long affair.
The portals of char dhams are closed in October-November every year due to heavy snowfall in the area and are re-opened in April - May when the snow melts.
The Chief Minister said it was a move to boost religious tourism in the state but the nod of the priests and temple committees was needed as the state government was not in favour of doing anything at the cost of age-old religious traditions and beliefs.