Monday, 23 August 2021 | PNS | New Tehri
Special prayers to mark the Annakut festival were organised at Kedarnath shrine on Saturday night. The chief priest Vagesh Ling and his assistants conducted the rituals late in the night on the eve of Rakshabandhan. This festival is also called Bhatuj Utsav.
As part of the rituals, the paste of cooked rice is placed around the Shivling at night. The devotees offer prayers after the rituals performed by the priests amid chanting of Vedic hymns. However this year the festival was observed in the absence of the devotees due to Covid guidelines. Taking prasad is prohibited when offered to lord Shiva on this occasion as it is believed that this prasad of lord Shiva is like a poison.
A big hole is dug and all the rice is then buried in this hole. It is believed that Lord Shiva after consuming poison from the samudra manthan cured himself by eating rice along with some medicinal plants.