DAINIK NATION BUREAU
The portals of Hemkunt Sahib, one of the most revered Sikh shrines in the Garhwal Himalayas, were closed for winters on wednesday.
Over 2,000 pilgrims braved the cold weather to take part in the prayers that preceded the closure of the gates of the shrine, located at a height of 16,000 feet. The gates were closed at 1:30 pm after the traditional prayers concluded. Utsav Yatra, a 21-km religious foot procession, will go through Ghangariya to reach Govindghat. Earlier this was being closed between 10 am 10.30 am but this year it has been closed during afternoon due to weather. This year it was opened on May 25.
Sardar Seva Singh, manager of the Gurdwara Trust, said over two lakh devotees visited the shrine this season. The gates of Hemkunt Sahib are closed every year in October due to heavy snowfall only to be reopened in May-June next year.