Amid snowfall, portals of Kedarnath shrine close for winter season

This year over 1,35,000 pilgrims have visited the Kedarnath shrine in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand since yatra was allowed on July 1.
The portals of Kedarnath shrine close for the winter season amid snowfall on Monday morning in Uttarakhand.(RAAJIV KALA/HT PHOTO.)
The portals of Kedarnath shrine close for the winter season amid snowfall on Monday morning in Uttarakhand.(RAAJIV KALA/HT PHOTO.)
Updated on Nov 16, 2020 11:51 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, Dehradun | By

Following all rituals and special prayers amid snowfall, the portals of the Kedarnath shrine closed for the winter season on Monday at 8:30 am in the presence of chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath.

This year over 1,35,000 pilgrims have visited the Kedarnath shrine in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand since yatra was allowed on July 1.

On Monday morning, the shrine was opened at 3 am when the chief priest Shivshankar Ling performed the Samadhi Puja of Lord Kedar and the sanctum sanctorum was closed at 6:30 am. At 8:30 am the assembly hall and the main gate of the shrine were closed.

Harish Gaur, media in-charge of Char Dham Devasthanam Management Board said, “This year, 1,35,023 pilgrims have visited the Kedarnath shrine since pilgrims were allowed to visit the shrine from July 1 following all safety protocols in view of Covid-19 epidemic. The deity will now stay in his winter abode of Ukhimath for the next six months and the palanquin left for the winter abode after closing of the shrine.”

The palanquin with the deity will reach the winter abode of Onkareshwar temple on November 18 after which the prayers will be offered there.

Meanwhile, chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Sunday inspected the ongoing reconstruction works in Kedarnath, like construction of Shankaracharya’s Samadhi Sthal, Aastha Path, Dhyan Caves and the bridge built in Kedarnath.

Rawat informed Adityanath in detail about the ongoing reconstruction work in Kedarnath.

“Under the guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, construction works were done at a very fast pace in Kedarnath. Modern instruments were brought to Kedarnath by helicopter for construction works. The progress of the construction works was regularly monitored from Dehradun. Kedarnath will soon become a center of attraction for devotees of the country and the world in a new form. Along with the strengthening of the routes coming to Kedarnath, attention is also being paid to the development of infrastructure facilities at the shrine,” said Rawat.

Yogi Adityanath said, “I got the privilege of offering prayers to Lord Kedarnath after around 11-12 years. After 2013 flash floods, the reconstruction work in the area is being carried out on a war footing. The Uttarakhand government has done an excellent job of rebuilding Kedarnath under the guidance of the Prime Minister and in restoring the faith of the devotees of the country and abroad.”

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Sunday, January 23, 2022