The doors to sacred Dham Badrinath were thrown open on Saturday and President Pranab Mukherjee was first amongst the visitors.
President Mukherjee left for Badrinath from Dehradun in a chopper at around 7:30 AM and visited the shrine at around 8:45 AM.
Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid obeisance at Kedarnath on May 3.
Over 500 security personnel have been deployed around the temple for President’s visit. On Friday, deputy inspector general of police (Garhwal Range) Pushpak Jyoti and Garhwal commissioner Vinod Sharma visited Badrinath in Chamoli district to review the security arrangement. Elaborate security arrangements have been made for the presidential visit to the temple, the last of the four Char Dham shrines in the Himalayas to be opened this year.
Uttarakhand: President Pranab Mukherjee, CM Trivendra Singh Rawat & Governor Krishna Kant Paul arrive at Badrinath Temple. pic.twitter.com/0Bv1JeKfJW— ANI (@ANI_news) May 6, 2017
Badrinath temple in Uttarakhand is an important pilgrim site for Hindus all around the world. It is part of the chota Char Dham yatra which is an important pilgrimage for Hindus.
Char Dham Yatra 2017 is expected to draw huge crowds like every previous year. It is believed that devotees who take this pilgrimage are absolved of their sins.
The four pilgrim centres open after a 6-month winter break during the months of April/May. Every year, thousands of devotees wait with bated breath to welcome the deities amidst blowing of conch shells and playing of drums.
This year, Gangotri and Yamunotri were already thrown open on the occasion of Akshay Tritiya, while doors to Kedarnath were opened on Wednesday when Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid a visit. And finally, Badrinath will start welcoming devotees from Saturday, after the visit of President Pranab Mukherjee.
Badrinath Dham temple will remain functional until September 30, 2017 – the day of Vijaya Dashami – before closing again for the winter season.
Uttarakhand: Badrinath Temple open for public; President Mukherjee to offer prayers here later today. pic.twitter.com/02rucQL3Te— ANI (@ANI_news) May 6, 2017
PM Modi’s Kedarnath Yatra
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid obeisance at Kedarnath as the portals of the eighth-century shrine in Garhwal Himalayas were thrown open to devotees after their closure for winters.
With the visit, Modi became the first prime minister to visit the famed temple in 28 years after former prime minister VP Singh had paid a visit to the temple in 1989. Modi is also the first prime minister to visit the famed temple on the very first day of its opening after the winter break.
The temple doors were opened at 8.50 am and the Prime Minister arrived just about half an hour later sporting a brown overcoat and dark glasses to offer prayers and perform a rudrabhishek (ritual bath of the Shiva lingam) in the sanctum sanctorum of the centuries old shrine.
He did a ‘parikrama’ of the Nandi statue outside the temple before walking through the crowds to make for the convoy that was to take him back to the helipad.
People in the state feel the visit by the Prime Minister and the President to Kedarnath and Badrinath will boost tourist arrivals at the two temples by sending the message of a safe chardham yatra to people outside the state.