Symbolic Puja begins at Kedarnath Temple
People of Uttarakhand showed great spirit and enthusiasm to recover from the devastation of June 16-17, which left over 600 dead in Kedar Valley and over 5,000 missing (presumed dead). After 86 days of silence, a symbolic puja began at the sanctum-sanctorum of Kedarnath Temple, which was built in the 6th Century.
Amid chanting of Vedic hymns and blowing of conch shells, Rawal Bhima Shankar Long Shivacharya along with a team of 25-30 priests carried out ‘Shuddhikaran’ (purification) and ‘prayashchitikaran’ (atonement for suspension of prayers at the shrine for 86 days). The puja was symbolic by nature, as devotees are still not allowed to enter the temple premises.
September 11 was chosen as the date to resume puja as it coincided with ‘Sarwartha Siddi Yog’, which was considered to be auspicious. Uttarakhand CM Vijay Bahuguna was scheduled to attend the prayers, but could not reach because of inclement weather. State Minister Harak Singh Rawat was present at Kedarnath Temple during the prayers. Even the media team failed to reach Kedarnath and stuck in Guptkashi because of bad weather.
Nearly 300 workers from Uttarakhand Public Works Department (PWD) worked hard to ensure the opening of Kedarnath Temple. They not only cleared the debris, but also cleaned the path to the temple’s sanctum sanctorum. The entire mess will take another few months to clear. A meeting will be held on September 30 to decide the date for resumption of Yatra to Kedarnath Temple, which is located at a height of 13,500 feet.