Portals of Kedarnath thrown open for devotees 

Portals of Kedarnath thrown open for devotees 

Thousands of devotees braved early morning chill to flock to Kedarnath as portals of the Himalayan shrine were thrown open today after the six-month winter break. Uttarakhand Governor K K Paul and Speaker Premchand Aggarwal were among the first to offer prayers at the shrine as its gates were opened by Rawal Bhimashankar Ling at 6.15 AM in the presence of administrative and temple committee officials.

The idol of baba Kedar brought is in a flower-bedecked palanquin from Ukhimath's Omkareshwar Temple where he is worshipped during winter was installed in the sanctum sanctorum of the temple amid elaborate rituals and chants of Vedic hymns before the main gates of the temple were thrown open to devotees to pay obeisance.

With the opening of Kedarnath today and Badrinath temple scheduled to reopen tomorrow the number of Chardham yatris is all set to get a boost in the coming days.   

The gap of about 11 days between the openings of Yamunotri-Gangotri (Apr 18)  and Kedarnath-Badrinath was being reckoned as a factor behind the lukewarm opening of Chardham Yatra this year.

Likely to be visited in the coming days by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is personally monitoring reconstruction work at Kedarpuri, several new attractions can be availed by devotees at Kedarnath this season including a laser show on Lord Shiva and improved facilities, officials said.   

Portals of the four famous Himalayan shrines of Uttarakhand are closed every year with the onset of winter as they become snowbound and reopened with the start of summer.

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