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Char Dham yatra begins

May 11, 2005 15:18 IST

The Char Dham pilgrimage began on Wednesday with the reopening of the Gangotri and the Yamnotri shrines in the Garhwal Himalayas after six months.

Amidst blowing of conches and reciting of Vedic hymns, the two Himalayan shrines were opened to the public. 

Uttaranchal Governor Sudarshan Agarwal was among the first to visit the Yamnotri shrine.

Besides the Gangotri and Yamnotri temples in Uttarkashi district, the Kedarnath shrine in Rudraprayag district will also be thrown open to the public on Thursday, whereas the portals of the Badrinath temple in Chamoli district will be opened on May 13.

The government has made elaborate security and other arrangements for pilgrims at Yamnotri, Superintendent of Police G S Martolia said.

The shrines will remain open for the next six months, during which thousands of pilgrims from the country and abroad are expected to visit.

However, the four shrines will remain closed in winter due to heavy snowfall in the area.

Chief Minister N D Tiwari has instructed top administrative officials to take measures to ensure the smooth conduct of the Char Dham yatra, an official release said.

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