The famous Badrinath Temple in the upper Himalayan region of Uttarakhand opened after the winter break early Tuesday amid traditional rituals.
The temple’s high priest, Ishwar Prasad Namboodiri, opened the temple gates at 4:15 a.m., chanting Vedic hymns and praying for the welfare of all.
However, the opening ceremony was a low-key affair with only a limited number of people, including priests, Dharmadhikari and administrative officials, attending according to Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOP).
Under normal circumstances, thousands of people show up at the high altitude temple dedicated to Vishnu to witness its opening ceremony.
For the second year in a row, the temple witnessed a simple and uncrowded opening ceremony.
The temple has been decorated with around eight quintals of marigolds on occasion.
With the opening of Badrinath, the four Himalayan temples known as the char dham are now open in Uttarakhand.
Kedarnath opened on Monday while Yamunotri and Gangotri opened on May 14 and 15 respectively.
However, they have been banned for pilgrims for the time being due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It is hoped that pilgrims will be allowed to visit the temples after the pandemic ends.