Prayers at the calamity-hit Kedarnath shrine of Uttarakhand resumed this morning, almost three months after flash floods left hundreds of people dead in the state. The prayers started in the presence of a 24-member team of priests and temple committee officials, after a sanctification and atonement ceremony.
Shortly after the dawn, as the clock stuck seven, the chief priest of the 8th century shrine, Rawal Bhima Shankar Ling Shivacharya, unlocked the portals of the temple and stepped into the sanctum-sanctorum to perform the puja.
The prayers commenced today on Sarwartha Siddi Yog, considered to be auspicious.
In Kedarnath, electricity, water supply, tele-communication along with basic necessity items have been restored.
In view of damaged roads and safety, the State Government has decided not to allow the people to visit the shrine via road. However, District Magistrate of Rudraprayag said that people can visit the temple in rotation if the condition of the road permits.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna, who was also scheduled to attend the prayers along with some of his ministerial colleagues, could not take off from Dehradun due to inclement weather.
The Kedar Valley is enveloped in a thick veil of fog and various media teams, which had to come here to cover the ceremony, are stuck in Guptkashi, some 22 kilometres from here, due to bad weather.