The famous Chardham yatra in Uttarakhand came to a close today with a ceremonial closure of the sacred portals of Badrinath in upper Himalayas amid chanting of hymns.
The head priest of the shrine performed elaborate rituals before locking the doors of the shrine at 3:35 pm today in the presence of religious heads and administration officials, Badrinath-Kedarnath committee officials said.
The idol of Lord Vishnu has been shifted out of the sanctum sanctorum of the high-altitude shrine and will be carried in a palanquin tomorrow to Pandukeshwar, where it will be worshipped during the winter when the temple is completely snow-bound.
A large number of pilgrims were also present outside the temple to witness the closing ceremony.
Badrinath temple is situated at a height of 3133 mt in Chamoli district in the middle of Garhwal Himalayas.
On Thursday, portals of Kedarnath and Yamunotri shrines situated in Garhwal region of the state were closed.
The Chardham yatra comprising pilgrimage to Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri begins in April-May and closes around October-November as the area remains covered under snow during winter.
The yatra attracts nearly 15-16 lakh pilgrims every year and the local economy depends heavily on it.