Tuesday, 18 May 2021 | PNS | Rudraprayag
The portals of Kedarnath were reopened ritually for the summer at 5 AM on Monday. The rituals for opening of the shrine began at 3 AM. The Rawal of Kedarnath, Bhima Shankar Ling, chief priest Bagesh Ling, Char Dham Devasthanam Management Board additional CEO BD Singh and Rudraprayag district magistrate Manuj Goyal entered the temple complex from the east entrance after which prayers were offered at the main door of the temple before it was opened at 5 AM. Bagesh Ling then ritually brought out the Swayambhu Ling of lord Kedarnath out of Samadhi after which Nirvan Darshan, Shringar and Rudrabhishek were conducted. The first Rudrabhishek at the shrine was offered on behalf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi wishing for the welfare of the people.
As the Char Dham Yatra has been suspended due to the Covid-19 surge, only a few priests and officials were present on the occasion. Expressing happiness at the reopening of Kedarnath, chief minister Tirath Singh Rawat wished for the good health of all people. The Tourism and Culture minister Satpal Maharaaz expressed confidence that the pandemic will be overcome soon and that the Char Dham Yatra will begin once the situation normalises. On Monday, the Covid guidelines were observed during the reopening of the Kedarnath shrine. According to the SOPs issued by the Devasthanam Board, the use of masks, hand sanitisers and thermal screening have been made mandatory among other measures.
The Tourism secretary Dilip Jawalkar said that with the opening of the Kedarnath shrine, execution of works under the Kedarnath master plan will gain pace. Teams of the district administration, police, State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) along with Health department, electricity department and Jal Sansthan are undertaking their respective works at Kedarnath.