Dehra Dun: Four pilgrims died due to intense cold as portals of famous Himalayan shrine Kedarnath were reopened on Saturday after a six-month winter break.
The temple, situated in Rudraprayag district at a height of 3,584 meter, was reopened at 0715 hours.
The Head priest performed the prayers as thousands of pilgrims flocked the temple after reopening of the doors.
Four pilgrims, three of them over 60 years, succumbed to the chill as the district was in the grip of severe cold after heavy snowfall and rains last evening.
The dead were Popat Bhai, aged 62, Ramesh Patel (60), both from Gujarat, Asim Mitra (65) from West Bengal and a 35-year-old man from Uttarakhand, police said.
The Chardhams, comprising shrines of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri in Garhwal Himalayas, reopen for pilgrims in April-May every year after remaining closed for nearly six months during the winter as the area remain snow-bound.
The annual Chardham pilgrimage is considered as a backbone of the religious tourism in the state that attracts nearly 15-16 lakh devotees every year from home and abroad.