The rains have once again played spoilsport to the devotees making their way to the portals of Kedarnath. Pilgrims enroute the yatra have been detained at several places on the Kedarnath route from Rudraprayag onwards.
People climb the new steep route from Rambara to Lincholi on the Kedarnath route. (Arvind Moudgil/HT Photo)
Keeping in view the safety of the people and the inclement weather, the administration has stopped the pilgrims from going towards the revered shrine, while all those who were descending from Kedarnath have been asked to stopover at various shelters provided on the way.
While the hills of Garhwal have received rainfall, higher ranges are reported to have had fresh bout of snow once again. Snowfall is reported at Kedarnath too.
According to the information received from the disaster management control room at Rudraprayag, 229 pilgrims are put up at Kedarnath, 240 at Lincholi and 40 at Bhimbali on the 16-km pedestrian track from Gaurikund to Kedarnath. About 500 pilgrims enroute to Kedarnath temple are stranded at Guptkashi, Sonprayag, while another 75 are aground at Gaurikund.
Keeping in view the cloudburst that struck the state last June and claimed over 5,000 people, the government does not want to take any chance because the newly laid track from Rambara to Lincholi is very steep and difficult to negotiate with in the rain. The track beyond Lincholi to Kedarnath runs through glaciers at many places.
The total distance between Kedarnath from Mankutia — the last stop for vehicles before Gaurikund — is about 17km now, while it was only 14km from Gaurikund even up till last year, and gets very steep from Rambara onwards.
There were reports of light snowfall at Badrinath too. The route towards the Badrinath temple, especially at Radang bend, Benakuli and JP Barrage from Pandukeshwar onwards, would not be very easy to negotiate in the inclement weather.