On May 17, the portals of Kedarnath Mandir were opened after a six-month winter break. A few selected people attended the ceremony of opening the portals due to the Covid restrictions. The gates were opened at 5 AM. The first puja was held by the priests of the temple on behalf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This is the second consecutive year when pilgrimage to the temple has been restricted due to an ongoing pandemic.
Rawal Bhim Shankar Ling and Chief Priest Bagesh Ling, a few officials of the administration, and the Devasthanam Board were present at the time of the ceremony.
Yatra suspended due to Covid-19
Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, Tirath Singh Rawat, expressed his happiness at the temple’s opening and prayed for the welfare and good health of everyone. CM Rawat said that the Yatra had been suspended temporarily due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, people can have a virtual darshan of Baba Kedarnath and perform puja from their homes. According to Satpal Maharaj, Tourism Minister of Uttarakhand, the Chardham Yatra would be restarted as soon as the coronavirus pandemic subsides.
केदारनाथ के रावल (मुख्य पुजारी) आदरणीय श्री भीमाशंकर लिंगम् जी की अगुवाई में तीर्थ पुरोहित सीमित संख्या में मंदिर में बाबा केदार की पूजा-अर्चना नियमित रूप से करेंगे। मेरा अनुरोध है कि महामारी के इस दौर में श्रद्धालु घर में रहकर ही पूजा-पाठ और धार्मिक परंपराओं का निर्वहन करें।— Tirath Singh Rawat (@TIRATHSRAWAT) May 17, 2021
The mesmerizing decoration of the temple
The temple was decorated with eleven quintals of flowers for the occasion. The mesmerizing beauty of Kedarnath Dham was visible during the ceremony. Everyone present for the ceremony followed the precautions such as wearing masks and maintaining social distancing that has been laid down in view of the pandemic.
केदारनाथ धाम में भी प्रथम रूद्राभिषेक पूजा प्रधानमंत्री श्री @narendramodi जी की ओर से की गयी तथा जनकल्याण की कामना की गयी। कोरोना महामारी को देखते हुए चारधाम यात्रा अस्थायी तौर पर स्थगित है धामों में केवल पूजापाठ संपन्न हो रही है यात्रियों को आने की अनुमति नहीं है।— Uttarakhand DIPR (@DIPR_UK) May 17, 2021
Department of Information and Public Relations Uttarakhand (DIPR) said that the pilgrimage had been suspended for Char Dham Yatra. Only symbolic puja by priests is allowed amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.
Badrinath Mandir to open on May 18
Yamunotri and Gangotri Mandir were opened on May 14 and May 15, respectively. Kedarnath Mandir was opened on Monday, while Badrinath Mandir will be opened on May 18 for the priests to perform regular puja. No pilgrims will be allowed to visit any of these temples till further orders because of the surge in Covid-19 cases in the state.