Pilgrimage to Kedarnath remained suspended for the second consecutive day on Monday due to snowfall at the Himalayan shrine and rain in the lower areas of Kedar valley.
Chief minister Harish Rawat said the yatra has been temporarily halted till improvement in weather due to safety reasons. The moment the weather clears up, the devotees at Sonprayag base camp will be allowed to go to the shrine to pay obeisance, he said.
Snowfall continued in the shrine area for the second day today while showers are lashing the lower areas. In view of the bad weather, devotees are not allowed to leave the basecamp at Sonprayag, Kedarnath SDM Uttam Singh Chauhan said. However, about 24 pilgrims staying in Linchauli, about 4kms from Kedarnath, had been escorted to the shrine early on Monday when there was a let up in rain and snowfall, he said.
About 200-250 devotees are staying at Sonprayag at the moment and they will be allowed to proceed to the temple only when the weather improves. Fresh spell of snowfall in the higher reaches of Garhwal Himalayas and rain in its lower areas brought the yatra to a halt on Su, a week after portals of the shrine were reopened after six-month winter break on May 4.
The annual pilgrimage was struck by the unprecedented flash floods last year causing large-scale loss of lives and property. Over 5,000 people were dead or missing, including pilgrims from various parts of the country.