The portals of the Gangotri shrine were closed to the public for the winters on Friday. Meanwhile, preparations have also been made for the closure of the portals of Kedarnath and Yamunotri on Saturday. Multitudes of devotees from various parts of Uttarkashi district and beyond arrived at Gangotri shrine on Friday. After ceremonial prayers and amidst Vedic chanting, an idol of Goddess Ganga was carried out of the shrine in a palanquin by devotees at 12:50 pm. The devotees left with the palanquin carrying an idol of Ganga for Mukhba, also in Uttarkashi district. Ganga is ceremoniously worshipped at Mukhba during the winters when the Gangotri shrine remains closed to the public.
Starting this year, the State Government has planned to facilitate winter pilgrimage to the places where the deities of Char Dham shrines are ritually worshipped during the winters when the main shrines are closed to the public. The locals are hopeful of income generation with the continuation of the Char Dham pilgrimage in the winter. Meanwhile, authorities have made arrangements for the closure of the Kedarnath shrine in Rudraprayag district at 7:30 AM on Saturday. The Yamunotri shrine in Uttarkashi is also slated to be closed to the public for the winters on Saturday.