Sat, 07 May 2011 13:46:51 GMT

Kedarnath shrine to open tomorrow

Dehradun, May 7 (PTI) The portals of the famous Himalayan shrine of Kedarnath will be reopened for pilgrims tomorrow, officials said today.

"Kedarnath temple would be reopened on May 8 at 0500 hrs in the morning," Badrinath-Kedarnath Samiti Chairman Anusuya Prasad Bhatt said.

Kedarnath shrine, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is situated a height of 3,581 metre in Garhwal Himalayas in Rudraprayag district.

After reaching the last road head at Gaurikund, the pilgrims have to undertake an arduous and tough trek of 14 km to reach the shrine.

Kedarnath is among the four Himalayan shrines called Chardhams that include Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri. The shrines are closed in October-November each year and reopen in April-May as the area remains snow-bound during the period.

Bhatt said that Kedarnath''s palanquin has left for its final destination to Kedarnath from Gaurikund along with hundreds of pilgrims and followers.

The Badrinath-Kedarnath Temple Committee has also decided to provide free food and lodging to pilgrims who cannot afford the facilities.

Bhatt said the committee has constructed tent colonies at bus terminals at Badrinath and Gaurikund near Kedarnath.

Nearly 2000 pilgrims can be accommodated in the tent colonies every day, he said.

The yatra season for the Chardhams, comprising Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri, commences May 6.
These shrines attract lakhs of pilgrims during the season from April-May to October-November every year.

The Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath had been closed on November 6, 7 respectively, and Badrinath on November 18.

Portals of Badrinath will be opened on May 9, Bhatt said.

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