The shrine received fewer footfalls last year owing to the 2013 disaster that had destroyed much infrastructure.
The portals of the Badrinath shrine, dedicated to Lord Vishnu, opened amid chanting of mantras at 5.15 a.m. on Sunday.
Thousands of devotees thronged the snow-covered premises for worship. The turnout, according to Chief Minister Harish Rawat, who attended the ceremony, was “more than the administration had expected.”
The shrine received fewer footfalls last year owing to the 2013 disaster that had destroyed much infrastructure, especially the roads leading to the shrine.
“The State government is still working on making the Char Dham yatra more convenient for the pilgrims,” Mr. Rawat said.
Even after the commencement of the yatra, the road repair work on some patches on the way to Badrinath is under way. Bulldozers have been placed at critical spots where landslips are a probability.
“The road from Pandukeshwar to Badrinath is still under repair…However, I assure the pilgrims that the yatra to Badrinath will not be affected because of the condition of roads as work on various damaged patches is under way,” Mr. Rawat said.
With the opening of the Badrinath shrine, the Char Dham Yatra, which involves pilgrimage to all the four Dhams of Gangotri, Yamunotri, Badrinath, and Kedarnath, has begun.
The Kedarnath shrine opened for pilgrims on April 24, and Gangotri and Yamunotri shrines on April 21.