The portals of the Gangotri temple in the Himalayas opened here on Saturday with a simple ceremony being held amid COVID-19 restrictions. Temple priests and a few members of the administration were among the select few who attended the opening ceremony.

The temple gates were opened at 7:31 am on the occasion of ‘Akshay Tritiya’ amid the chanting of Vedic hymns and special prayers, Gangotri temple priest Ravindra Semwal said.

All COVID-19 protocols were strictly followed with only a select few people from the administration and the temple committee being allowed to witness the opening ceremony, besides the priests, he said.

Soon after the opening of the temple, the first puja was performed on behalf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he added.

Though the ‘Chardham Yatra’ to the four Himalayan shrines in Uttarakhand, including Gangotri temple, has been cancelled this year in view of the raging pandemic, their portals are being opened on schedule for holding regular puja sans pilgrims.
While the Yamunotri temple opened on May 14, Kedarnath will open on May 17 and Badrinath on May 18.