The portals of the Gangotri shrine are closed after 23,000 pilgrims visited the shrine amid the pandemic
Following all the traditional rituals and prayers, the portals of the Gangotri shrine in the Uttarkashi district closed for the winter season at 12:15 pm on Sunday.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat took to Twitter and said: “The portals of the famous Gangotri shrine were closed for the winter season after offering prayers at the holy festival of Annakut-Govardhan Puja. Around 23,500 devotees and pilgrims visited the shrine this year ”.
He further said: “The government issued special guidance this year regarding the Covid-19 epidemic, which was followed by all devotees. For this, I thank all the devotees and local people. I pray and wish that Ma Ganga bless you all. ”
After the closing of the portals, the palanquin of Goddess Ganges departed for Mukhba in the district, where prayers will be offered for the next six winter months. During Sunday’s ceremony, members of the Gangotri Temple Committee Suresh Semwal, Deepak Semwal, Rajesh Semwal, Harish Semwal and police officers were present. All social distancing rules were followed during the temple closing and Utsav Doli’s departure.
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On Monday, the gates of the Kedarnath shrine in the Rudraprayag district will close at 8:30 am on the occasion of Bhai Dooj for the winter season.
The Char Dham shrines were opened to pilgrims on July 1 this year by the state government. Relaxing the rules, in the last week of July, the Uttarakhand government had decided to allow pilgrims from other states to visit the Char Dham shrines with some conditions.
In September, the Uttarakhand government further removed the requirement for a mandatory negative Covid-19 report from pilgrims visiting shrines.