Modi offers prayers at Kedarnath, renews resolve to serve people

Modi offers prayers at Kedarnath, renews resolve to serve people
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday offered prayers at the Kedarnath shrine and said the visit had strengthened his resolve to serve the nation.

Serving people was true service of the lord, the prime minister said after offering 'rudrabhiskek' at the high-altitude shrine.

Modi, who had visited the shrine in May this year, also laid the foundation stones of five major reconstruction projects at Kedarpuri.

These include improved facilities for devotees, construction of retaining walls and ghats at the Mandakini and Saraswati rivers, an approach road to the shrine and reconstructing Adi Guru Shankaracharya's tomb which was devastated in the 2013 deluge.

He described the projects as ambitious and expensive but said there would be no dearth of funds to ensure that they are completed in a time-bound manner.

As chief minister of Gujarat, he had offered to take the responsibility of reconstructing areas surrounding the shrine when the tragedy had struck in 2013, killing thousands of people, Modi said.

The then Uttarakhand chief minister had also agreed in principle. "But the then government at the Centre apparently had reservations about it. I had to return, however, perhaps Baba (Lord Shiva) had decided that the reconstruction around Kedarnath will be done by Baba's son only," he said.

Modi visited Kedarnath in May when the portals of the Himalayan shrine were reopened for devotees after remaining closed for six months for the winters.

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