The portals of the Kedarnath temple were opened on Wednesday with the first puja performed on behalf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and only members of the shrine’s committee and administrative officials attending it amid the COVID-19-induced lockdown.

The doors of the eleventh jyotirlinga at Kedarnath in the Garhwal Himalayas were opened at 6.10 am. The temple was decorated in a grand way with 10 quintals of flowers, temple committee officials said.

The portals of the four famous Himalayan shrines — Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri — are opened every year between April and May after a six-month closure during which they remain completely snowbound.

The Gangotri and Yamunotri shrines were opened on April 26 on the occasion of Akshay Tritiya. The Badrinath shrine will open on May 15.

The first ‘rudrabhishek’ was performed on behalf of Prime Minister Modi, a Kedarnath temple committee official said.

The pujas were performed by Shivshankar Ling in the absence of the chief priest, Bhimashankar Ling, who is in 14 days of quarantine.

Only priests of the temple, and officials of the temple committee and administration were present during the puja. Due to the lockdown imposed to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, pilgrims are not being allowed to visit the temple, an official said.

The portals of the temple have been opened so that priests can offer prayers regularly.




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