Badrinath: After a long winter break, the sacred portals of Badrinath were finally opened early on Friday, however, due to the coronavirus outbreak, no devotees were allowed inside. Also Read - Uttarakhand: Thick Blanket of Snow Covers Badrinath Temple | Watch Viral Pics

In a low-key ‘kapat-opening’ ceremony, the gates of the Himalayan temple were opened at 4.30 am on Friday by its chief priest Rawal Ishwari Prasad Nambudiri in the presence of a limited number of shrine board official, and Devasthanam Board officials.

“Devotees will not be allowed entry into the temple during that time. The decision has been taken in view of the guidelines issued by the centre amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” Anil Chanyal, sub-divisional magistrate of Joshimath, said in a statement.

As per an ANI report, the temple was beautifully decorated with flowers as the temple and its surroundings were decked with quintals of marigolds. In the view of the Covid-19 outbreak, priests wore masks while performing religious ceremonies and wore masks.

After the gates were opened, the first puja was performed on behalf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi praying for the welfare of mankind.

Lamenting on the absence of visitors, Bhuvan Chandra Uniyal, Dharm Adhikari, Badrinath Temple said that the temple offered prayers on the behalf of those devotees who could not attend.

“On behalf of those who could not make it to the temple, I would like to say that we have offered prayers on your behalf. We prayed to the almighty God for your safety and security,” he said.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat and Tourism Minister Satpal Maharaj congratulated devotees on the opening of the temple and expressed hope that the coronavirus pandemic will be defeated and the Chardham yatra will begin as soon as possible.

(With ANI inputs)