The famous temple of Badrinath in the upper Himalayan region of Uttarakhand opened after the winter break early on Tuesday amid traditional rituals.
The chief priest of the temple, Ishwar Prasad Namboodiri, opened the portals of the temple at 4.15 am chanting Vedic hymns and praying for the well-being of all.
However, the opening ceremony was a subdued affair with only a limited number of people, including the priests, the Dharmadhikari and administrative officials, attending it in compliance with the COVID-19 standard operating procedure (SOP).
In normal circumstances, thousands of people turn up at the high-altitude temple dedicated to Vishnu to witness its opening ceremony. For the second consecutive year, the temple witnessed a simple, thinly-attended opening ceremony.
The temple was decorated with around eight quintals of marigolds on the occasion. With the opening of Badrinath, all the four Himalayan temples known as 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 kept out of bounds for pilgrims for the time being due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It is being hoped that the pilgrims will be allowed to visit the temples after the pandemic subsides.