239 pilgrims visit Kedarnath since resumption of yatra
Dehradun: Braving vagaries of the weather, altogether 239 devotees have paid obeisance at Kedarnath since resumption of the yatra to the Himalayan shrine earlier this month after its protracted suspension in the wake of the June calamity, a senior official said on Saturday.
The higher reaches of the mountains surrounding the revered shrine have covered with snow and the lower areas are receiving intermittent rains but the growing chill has failed to deter devotees who continue to visit the shrine every day though in small numbers, Relief Commissioner Nitin Bhadoriya said.
Twenty pilgrims visited the shrine yesterday while 15 more visited it today to offer prayers, he said, adding a total of 239 pilgrims have so far visited the famed temple since yatra was resumed on October 5 after its prolonged suspension in the wake of the June 16-17 flashfloods in which hundreds of people were killed and thousands went missing.
The cap on the number of pilgrims visiting the temple will remain in place for a few more weeks so as not to overburden the newly-repaired roads leading to the shrine, he said.
The number of pilgrims visiting the shrine has been limited to 100 persons a day which may be increased later, he said.
The pilgrims are being properly registered at Guptkashi before being allowed to proceed to the shrine, the official said.
The state government had drawn much flak for not registering the pilgrims visiting the shrine before the tragedy occurrred as it had led to a lot of confusion regarding the number of people killed in the tragedy and those gone missing.
Proper arrangements for food and lodging of devotees have also been made at Bhimbali and Limchauli along the trek route, he said.
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