Dehra Dun: The annual pilgrimage to Chardham in Uttarakhand ended on Thursday with the ceremonious closure of the portals of the high altitude Badrinath temple in the Himalayas for the winter season.
The main priest of the famed temple, perched at a dizzying 3133 metres in Garhwal Himalayas, locked the doors amid vedic rituals at 1555 hrs in the presence of senior administrative and police officials, said Anusuiya Prasad Bhatt, Chairman of Barinath-Kedarnath temple committee.
Thousands of pilgrims braved chilly conditions amid continuous snowfall to witness the closing ceremony, he said.
The Chardham yatra is a journey to four shrines, including Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath temples in Uttarakhand.
Considered the backbone of religious tourism in Uttarakhand, which attracts lakhs of pilgrims every year from the country and abroad.
The portals of Chardham remain closed from November to April as the area remains snow-bound during the winters.
All the four shrines would now reopen for pilgrims after a gap of six months in April-May next year.
While the portals of Kedarnath and Yamunotri were closed on November 7 on the occassion of Bhaiya Duj, Gangotri temple was
closed on Nov 6.
Gangotri and Yamunotri shrines are situated at a height of 3200 metres and 4421 metres respectively in Uttarkashi district and Kedarnath in Rudraprayag district at a height of 3581 metres.