Dehradun, May 11 : With the chants of Vedic hymns and ‘Jai Badri Vishal’, sacred portals of Badrinath were reopened in the wee hours today after their annual winter closure. Elaborate rituals preceded the formal opening of the Himalayan shrine, Chief Executive Officer of Badrinath- Kedarnath Samiti said. Also Read: Heavy rains lead to delay in Badrinath Yatra

Chief Priest Ishwar Prasad Namburi threw the doors open at 4.35 AM in the presence of Mandir Samiti officials and thousands of devotees, he said. Over 8,000 devotees visited the Himalayan temple on the first day, he said. Former chief minister Bhuvan Chandra Khanduri also offered prayers at the shrine.

With the opening of Badrinath,?the annual pilgrimage to char dham has begun in a full-fledged manner as the three other Himalayan temples on the circuit – Kedranath, Gangotri and Yamunotri – were opened on May 9. The famous Himalayan shrines are closed every year with the onset of winter when they remain snowbound.