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Badrinath opens for pilgrims, sees a large turnout on Day 1

Dehradun: Badrinath temple, the last of the Char Dham shrines to open for this year's yatra, saw over 22,000 devotees assemble for the opening ceremony held at the auspicious time of 6:15 am on Sunday. Like at the opening ceremonies of the Kedarnath and Gangotri shrines, the first prayer at the Badrinath shrine was offered on behalf of Prime minister Narendra Modi. The portals were opened amid chants of Vedic hymns, with the temple's chief priest Ishwari Prasad Bamboodiri performing the traditional rituals. Over 20 quintals of marigold flowers were used to deck up the temple.
A day earlier, a flower-covered palanquin carrying Lord Vishnu or Badrinarayan, arrived at the shrine from the deity's winter abode in Narsingh Mandir, Joshimath. The deity is worshipped at Joshimath for six months and transported to Badrinath during summer.
Badrinath-Kedarnath Mandir Samiti president Ajendra Ajay, Badrinath MLA Rajendra Singh Bhandari, and former MLA Mahendra Bhatt were present at the opening ceremony.
"Over 22,000 people visited the Badrinath shrine on an opening day. The ceremony went smoothly as we had all arrangements in place," said the superintendent of police (SP) Chamoli Shweta Choubey.
With Badrinath, all four Char Dham temples are now open for devotees. Gangotri, Yamunotri, and Kedarnath had opened earlier this week. So far this year, estimates say nearly 50,000 pilgrims have taken the pilgrimage.

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