Prayers resume at Kedarnath

Nearly three months after the worst ever deluge in Uttarakhand, the historic sixth century Shiva temple in Kedarnath, which was the epicentre of devastation, came alive on Wednesday morning as prayers resumed for the first time after the tragedy killed hundreds.

At 7 am, a group of Hindu priests commenced prayers amid the backdrop sounds of the counch shells at the temple premises that had witnessed hundreds of bodies being consigned to flames, perhaps unceremoniously, just a few months ago when mass cremations took place. Colourful flowers and garlands were used to decorate the shrine.

The silence that had gripped the temple compound all this while broke with the temple bell resounding the start of a new chapter of life and faith.

No pilgrim was permitted to participate in the prayer ceremony as the 14-km trek to the temple town is still nowhere to be seen. At least 30 priests performed the “Hawan” ceremony chanting mantra in name of the lord. Choppers performed multiple sorties to fly down priests and officials for the ceremony. Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna, however, could not be a part of the prayers as bad weather prevented his chopper from taking off.

The giant boulder, that rolled down along with rocks and debris that ill-fated day, was also decorated with garlands as it is believed that the big one-piece rock stopped short of hitting the rear of the shrine and diverted the flow of the debris to the other side preventing any damage to the shrine.

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