President visits Kedarnath temple, offers prayers
Dehradun, Sep 28 (IANS) President Pranab Mukherjee visited the famous Lord Shiva temple at Kedarnath in Uttarakhand on Wednesday.
Accompanied by Governor K.K. Paul and Chief Minister Harish Rawat, the President appeared happy after the ‘Darshan’ of the Kedarnath ‘Shivalinga’ — one of the 12 ‘Jyotirlingas’ in India.
He spent some 20 minutes inside the sanctum sanctorum and offered prayers for the wellbeing of everyone, an official present there told IANS.
Mukherjee flew in an IAF chopper to the Kedarnath shrine amid tight security. As the temple priests led him into the puja, they gifted him a ‘Ram-naami’ cloth and a ‘rudraksh’ (bead) garland. The management of the temple also gifted the President a wooden replica of the temple.
President Mukherjee had earlier visited Uttarakhand on June 22, but had to abort the trip owing to bad weather and poor visibility. He went back to Delhi with a vow to return and offer prayers at the famed Shiva temple soon.
Mukherjee interacted with the priests and local officials, and sought information from the local government officials about the temple restoration work underway in and around the shrine.
Kedarnath was devastated in the 2013 flash floods and heavy rains, when thousands of people were killed and hundreds went missing.
Restoration work is currently going on at the shrine and the roads leading to the famous temple.