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Badrinath shrine reopens for devotees
(Uttaranchal): The doors of the famous Badrinath shrine located at the foothills
of the Himalayas re-opened to the public on Friday. The temple remains closed
for nearly six months from November due to heavy snow in the region. Tradition
is that the doors of the temple can be opened only by the head priest, who is
a Namboodri Brahmin from Kerala. For centuries, the Namboodris have been the official
priests at Badrinath Dham and only the head priest can touch the deity in the
sanctum sanctorum of the temple. . "The temple doors were closed in November last
year. The time in between when the portals of the temple remained shut is meant
for 'Dev Pujan' (rituals by divine entities) and from now the 'Manushaya Puja
Kaal' (worship by human devotees) has commenced," said Nandkishore, a devotee.
Devotees from far and near assembled at the temple to take part in the day-long
opening rituals and witness the opening of the doors that they consider as auspicious.
"To obtain salvation, it is necessary to visit this temple. Temple doors have
opened after six months. We have come here to witness this auspicious occasion,"
said Sonali, a pilgrim from Indore. Badrinath is one of the four holiest Hindu
shrines in India. The other three are Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri. all them
situated in Uttaranchal. Located on the banks of River Alaknanda, this ancient
temple is dedicated to Lord Badri or Lord Vishnu. The idol of Lord Badri is made
of shining black stone. The temple at Badrinath is an ancient monument which was
renovated later. Pilgrims had to climb hills to reach the shrine.
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