Modi in Kedarnath, to visit Badrinath on Sunday (2nd Lead)
Dehradun, May 18 (IANS) Five days before the election results, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday morning offered prayers at the Kedarnath shrine nestled in Garhwal Himalayas of Uttarakhand.
Early in the day, Modi arrived at Dehradun’s Jolly Grant airport and took a helicopter to Kedarnath. He was wearing a grey attire with a pahari cap and a saffron gamchha around his waist.
Alighting from the chopper, he headed straight to the holy shrine, where he offered special prayers to Lord Shiva. Other devotees were not allowed to enter the temple during this time. The temple opens to devotees at 4 a.m. daily.
Modi later took an all-terrain vehicle to go around and review the reconstruction work in Kedarnath, which was extensively damaged in the June 2013 deluge. Uttarakhand Chief Secretary Utpal Kumar Singh briefed him about the restoration work.
The Prime Minister will spend the night in Kedarnath and will fly to Badrinath on Sunday. He would return to New Delhi later on Sunday.
Security has been tightened around both the shrines in view of the Prime Minister’s visit, said Ashok Kumar, Director General (Law and Order).
This is the Prime Minister’s fourth visit to Kedarnath in the past two years.
In 2017, he visited it once in May after its gate were opened following a six-month winter break and again in October, before the temple again closed for the winter. He last offered prayers at the temple on Diwali in November.