During this time, a very limited number of people, including the chief priest were present there in keeping with the social distancing norms. This is for the first time in history, that devotees were not present at the dham when the gates were opened.
First, the gates of the Sinhdawar were opened amid chanting of the Vedic mantras. The key to the door lock was opened by the Devasthanam board chief. After this, the gates of the sanctum sanctorum were opened and the few people present there worshiped Lord Badri Vishal and prayed to liberate the world from the coronavirus soon.
As soon as the gates of the sanctum sanctorum were opened, Rawal Ishwari Prasad Namboodri entered. He removed the woollen blanket that was offered to God during the winter season. After this, Rawal bathed the Lord with holy water and performed a grand puja. The Dharmadhikari and the Additional Dharmadhikari Ved Pathi continued to chant the mantras during the process.
Harish Gaur, media in-charge of Uttarakhand Chardham Devasthanam Board, said the government advisory, including social distancing was followed in view of the corona lockdown. Masks were worn and cleanliness was taken care of.
He said, "After the opening of the doors, the sound of Veda mantras made Badrishpuri resonant and the temple was shining with electric lights with flower decorations. The Char Dham Yatra could not begin in view of the corona epidemic this year. Only the doors have been opened. Devasthanam Board had completed the preparations for opening of the valve.
District Magistrate Swati S. Bhadauria said: "The social distance in the Dham campus will be completely followed. Everyone must wear a mask. Instructions have been issued that priests arriving in the Dham till the lockdown period will not be allowed to go elsewhere from the Badrinath area without the permission of the administration."
On this oiccassion Rawal Ishwari Prasad Namboodri along with Devasthanam Board in-charge officer B.D. Singh, Naib Tehsildar Pradeep Negi, Dharmadhikari Bhuvan Chandra Uniyal, Additional Dharmadhikari Satyaprasad Chamola, Thana Satyendra Singh, Information Inspector Surya Prakash Shah, etc., were present during the puja. All of them wearing masks.
Special pujas of dieties -- "Kuberaji", "Uddhavji" and "Garudaji" were also held at the Yoga Dhyan Badri temple, Pandukeshwar.
The date of opening of the gates of the dham was fixed on April 30. But due to corona crisis, the date of opening of the doors was shifted to May 15.
The doors of Kedarnath Dham were opened on April 29 after rituals and worship. At the same time, the valleys of the world famous Gangotri and Yamunotri Dham were opened on Sunday on the occasion of the Akshaya Tritiya -- the doors of the Gangotri Dham opened at 12.35 p.m. and Yamunotri at 12.41 p.m.