The sacred portals of the Himalayan shrine of Kedarnath will be thrown open for devotees on May 4 after a six month closure during winter when the area remains snowbound.
The gates of the famed temple dedicated to Lord Shiva will be opened after an elaborate ceremony at 6 am on May 4, Badrinath-Kedarnath Temple Committee sources here said.
The auspicious hour to open the gates of the shrine was finalised in the presence of religious heads, committee and administrative officials on the occasion of Mahashivratri on Thursday at Ukhimath in Rudraprayag district where an idol of the Hindu deity is worshipped during the winter sojourn, they said.
The procession called Utsav Yatra of Lord Shiva, which precedes the gate opening ceremony, will begin from Ukhimath on April 30 and reach Kedarnath on the evening of May 3, committee officials said.
Announcing dates for the opening of the other three temples known as chardhams, Committee officials said while Badrinath in Chamoli district will be opened on May 5, Gangotri and Yamunotri will be opened for devotees on May 2 on the occasion of Akshya Tritiya. A large number of devotees visit the char dhams located in Garhwal Himalayas every year.
Though the region suffered extensive damage in the deluge last year with a vast network of roads still breached, the state government claims they will be repaired well before the start of the chardham yatra season.
Kedar valley suffered most of the damage in the June flashfloods.
BJP leaders Prabhat Jha, Shahnawaz Hussain and Krishnapal Gujar also addressed a number of rallies.