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For The First Time, Dates Changed for Opening of Badrinath & Kedarnath Portal

File photo of Kedarnath shrine.

File photo of Kedarnath shrine.

The new dates were decided after Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Rawat, religious affairs minister Satpal Maharaj and Tehri MP Mala RajyaLaxmi Shah who also happens from the royal family took decision to defer the dates.

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Anupam Trivedi

Dehradun: Covid-19 outbreak is having its impact on the ancient religious practises as well.

Perhaps for the first time the dates for the opening of portals of revered Hindu shrines – Badrinath and Kedarnath in Uttarakhand have been changed. The Badrinath shrine will now open on May 15 in place of its original date April 30th.

Similarly, the portals of the Kedarnath shrine will now open on May 14. Earlier the portals were scheduled to open on April 29th.

The new dates were decided after Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Rawat, religious affairs minister Satpal Maharaj and Tehri MP Mala RajyaLaxmi Shah who also happens from the royal family took decision to defer the dates. Tehri royal family is considered to be religious representative of Badrinath shrine.

"The decision (to defer dates) was taken after seeking approval from the Tehri royal family. The Kedarnath shrines will open on May 14 and Badrinath portals will open on May 15th" religious affairs minister Satpal Maharaj told News18.

The dates were deferred in a bid to adjust with the schedule of chief priests of both shrines. The debate over the opening of the portals started the chief priests of both the shrines were out of state. Going by the rituals, only chief priests or ‘Raval’ as they are called could open the portals of the shrines after six months of winter break.

After getting permission, Bhimashankar Ling, chief priest of Kedarnath shrine started from Nanded (Maharastra). After travelling 1800 kms by road he reached Ukhimath (the winter seat of Kedarnath) on Sunday. After screening the priest has been sent on quarantine.

Similarly Ishwari Prasad Namboodri, chief priest of Badrinath left from Kunnur in Kerala to reach winter seat Joshimath (Uttarakhand) which is roughly 2900 kms from down south. He is expected to reach later on Monday or Tuesday.

As per health advisory, anyone entering in the state needs to complete 14 days of quarantine period. It was not possible for the priests to attend the portal opening ceremony without completing the quarantine period.

It is believed Kedarnath and Badrinath shrines were established by Adi Shankaracharya around 8th century. As the custom goes, the chief priest of Kedarnath picked from the Lingayat sect of Karnataka while chief priest of Badrinath hails from Namboodri Brahmins clan from Kerala.

Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamnotri are four shrines which remain open six months in a year. Last year 3.3 lakh people visited four shrines.


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