New Delhi: After the portals of the Kedarnath temple were thrown open on April 29 following the six-month winter break, the Uttarakhand government has now decided to allow pilgrims, but only from the state. Starting from tomorrow, that is May 4, when the entire country goes into the third phase of the ongoing lockdown with several relaxations, pilgrims from the state will be allowed to visit the temple. Also Read - Nepal Airport Under Renovation Amid Coronavirus Lockdown
As inter-district movement of people is being allowed with certain restrictions from May 4 especially in districts which fall in the green zone, pilgrims from the state can visit Kedarnath, Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said. Also Read - Bangladesh Govt Decides Not to Extend COVID-19 Shutdown
However, the Chief Minister appealed to the people to maintain physical and social distancing while paying obeisance at the temples as their safety is of utmost importance. Also Read - COVID-19 Cases Cross 1.6 Lakh-mark; Death Toll Above 4,600; Shah Speaks to CMs Over Lockdown Extension | Key Points
“After the Kedarnath tragedy in 2013, a similar mood of despair gripped people but we overcame it and the yatra was put back on track. I am confident coronavirus will be defeated in the end and the usual glow will return to the temples,” Mr Rawat said.
All the three districts in Garhwal region where the four Himalayan shrines also known as the ‘Uttarakhand Chardham’ are located fall in the green zone with not a single COVID-19 positive case reported from there as yet.
While Gangotri and Yamunotri temples are located in Uttarkashi district, Kedarnath is situated in Rudraprayag district and Badrinath in Chamoli district.
All these temples are open except Badrinath which has been rescheduled to open on May 15 due to the lockdown.
Gangotri and Yamunotri temples were opened on the occasion of Akshay Tritiya on April 26.
On April 29, the first pooja was performed in the name of PM Narendra Modi.