After spending Diwali with Army and BSF personnel in North Kashmir’s Gurez sector on Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi flew to Uttarakhand’s Kedarnath temple Friday morning before it closes ahead of the winter. The Himalayan shrine, dedicated to Shiva, closes Saturday for as long as six months. Modi had paid a visit to the temple on May 3 as well .
After offering prayers at the temple, Modi addressed a public gathering where he said the central government is taking steps to ensure that resources of the mountains are pooled in for development of only the mountains. “Reconstruction of Kedarpuri, with improved facilities for devotees, will be expensive but there will be no dearth of funds.”
He also took a pledge to devote himself to realising the dream of a “developed India” by the time the country marks 75 years of freedom, in 2022.
Narendra Modi in Kedarnath highlights:
11:39 am: The Himalayas have so much to offer- for spiritual pursuits, for the nature lover, for those interested in adventure, water sports. I invite everyone to come and explore the Himalayas: PM Modi.
11:37 am: Discipline is in the blood of people here in Uttarakhand, at least one person from each family is a soldier: PM Modi in Kedarnath.
11:35 am: I urge people of Uttarakhand, officers and ministers to take the pledge of developing Uttarakhand as an organic state: PM Modi
11:31 am: I am confident that next year, 10 lakhs people will visit Kedarnath. I want Uttarakhand to be the best tourists destination, says PM Modi.
11:26 am: Building modern infrastructure in Kedarnath but the traditional soul will be preserved and will ensure environment laws not flouted: PM Modi.
11:23 am: Through the work we are doing in Kedarnath, we want to show how an ideal ‘Tirth Kshetra’ should be, how it should be pilgrim friendly and the wellbeing of the priests should be given importance: PM Modi.
11:17 am: The floods of 2013 had made all of us extremely sad. That time I was not the Prime Minister, I was the Chief Minister of Gujarat. I came here to do all that I could for victims, said PM Modi.
11:15 am: Service to nation is service of god. From this holy land of Kedarnath, I seek the blessings of Bhole Baba and pledge to devote myself fully to realising the dream of a developed India by the time we mark 75 years of freedom in 2022: PM Modi
11:11 am: I am happy to be in Kedarnath, a day after Diwali. Today, Gujaratis are celebrating the start of a New Year. I convey my greetings to everyone around the world who mark the start of Nutan Varsh: PM Modi in Kedarnath
11:10 am: PM Modi started speaking at Kedarnath temple.
11:05 am: PM Narendra Modi inaugurated various development projects in Kedarnath.
11: 02 am: Chief Minister Trivendra Rawat addresses gathering at Kedaranath, says “It is an honour for this Dev Bhoomi that within six months the prime minister visited Kedarnath twice.”
11:00 am: PM Modi will now lay the foundation stone of Kedarpuri reconstruction projects.
10:38 am: The ceremony of offering prayers at Kedaranath concludes. PM Modi has come out for the shrine. He would now lay the foundation stone for five projects around rebuilding of the Kedarnath township — Kedarpuri — which was devastated in the 2013 glacier lake breach above Kedarnath.
10:35 am: Chief Minister Trivendra Rawat tweeted saying Modi’s regular visits to Kedarnath have given a boost to religious tourism in Uttarakhand. “…as a result, 7.5 lakh more pilgrims have visited the char dham this year as compared to last year, he has said in his tweet.
10:20 am: PM Narendra Modi offers prayers at the Kedarnath temple.
10:17 am: PM Modi enters the Kedarnath shrine to offer prayers to Lord Shiva to whom the Kedarnath shrine is dedicated.
10:01 am: PM Modi has reached Kedarnath. Trivendra Singh rawat, KK Paul, Uttarakhand BJP President Ajay Bhatt and other party ministers and workers also present.
9:24 am: Chief Minister Trivendra Rawat and Governor KK Paul will accompany PM Modi to the temple.
9:15 am: PM Modi has reached Dehradun airport.
08:03 am: Narendra Modi will reach Kedarnath at 10 am and be at the shrine premises for over an hour.
8:02 am: PM Modi will address the public from the shrine premises, after offering prayers, amid tight security.
8:01 pm: At least 4,000 people, including Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, state ministers and other party functionaries are expected to be present at the Kedarnath premises.
8:00 am: Among the projects to be constructed today include construction of houses for purohits of Kedarnath, repair of the bridle path to Kedarnath, construction of ghats in Kedarpuri, flood protection work near Mandakini and Saraswati rivers, and foundation-laying ceremony of a ‘samadhi sthal’ for Adi Sankara.
7:59 am: Uttarakhand BJP president Ajay Bhatt said that PM Modi has been thinking about the reconstruction of Kedarnath for quite some time. Over four years after the Kedarnath floods, not much work has been done, so Modiji will be launching projects for reconstruction of Kedarpuri.
7:58 am: The town of Kedarpuri, which encompasses the Kedarnath shrine located at an altitude of 3,583 metres, had undergone devastation in June 2013 after a glacier lake breached due to heavy rainfall and caused flash floods in the river Mandakini, which passes through the Kedar valley.