Portals of Gangotri closed for winter

With the onset of winter, the sacred portals of the Gangotri shrine in Garhwal Himalayas of Uttarakhand were closed on Friday amid Vedic hymns and elaborate rituals.

Gangotri Mandir Samiti co-secretary Rajesh Semwal said the temple gates were closed at 11.45 am. The idol of Goddess Ganga was then taken on a palanquin decked with flowers for Mukhba village, her winter abode, he said.

Over 32,948 pilgrims visited Gangotri this season after the temple was opened for devotees in September amid Covid restrictions such as a limit on the number of devotees.

The daily limit was lifted in October by the Uttarakhand High Court following a drop in Covid-19 cases.

The portals of the shrine, which draws a large number of devotees from all over the country, are closed in October-November every year due to snow all around.

The portals of Kedarnath and Yamunotri will be closed on Saturday and that in Badrinath on November 20.

The shrines of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri are commonly known as Char Dham.