The annual Char Dham Yatra 2016 in Uttarakhand is began on 9th May 2016, Monday at 7 AM. The Char Dham Yatra 2016 is opened on the auspicious ‘Akshaya Tritiya’ festival with the reopening of the Gangotri and the Yamunotri shrines in the Garhwal Himalayas.
All the preparations related with the pilgrimage had already been done at the Gangotri, Yamunotri Temples in the Uttarkashi district and at the Kedarnath Temple in Rudraprayag district of the state. The gates of the temples will be reopened after remaining closed for six months during the winters.
The gates of Badrinath Temple in the Chamoli district will reopen on 11th May 2016, Tuesday. All arrangements for the facilities and security of the visitors have been completed at the stay points along the yatra route. According to officials, over one thousand pilgrims from areas like Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Gujarat have left for the yatra from Rishikesh.
The chief priest of the Kedarnath temple said that, “The seal of the western side of the temple will be opened with chanting of prayers. The deity will be given a bath with pure herbs of various kinds and milk and later, prasadam will be distributed among devotees.”
Suresh Panwar, manager of Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam (GMVN) at Gangotri said that, “We are expecting a huge rush of pilgrims this year. Our infrastructure is in good condition. The roads, too, are not bad like previous years. Due to less winter snowfall, there was hardly any damage to the roads.”
Vijay Nautiyal, manager, GMVN, at Yamunotri said that, “A very auspicious beginning has already been made for the yatra at Yamunotri with around 3000 pilgrims already arriving here to attend the sermons (katha) of spiritual guru Murari Bapu, who is here since the last few days. Most of these pilgrims will also be there when the shrine opens.”