The Gangotri and the Yamunori shrines will reopen for pilgrimage on May 2. The Badrinath shrine will reopen on May 5

The Kedarnath shrine located in the Kedarnath Valley and dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva will reopen for pilgrimage on May 4.

The shrine in Rudraprayag district, which is visited by almost 7 lakh pilgrims each year between May and October, witnessed a massive deluge on June 17 last year. In the Kedarnath Valley 3,940 people including 872 people from Uttarakhand died in the June deluge that flash flooded the Mandakini river last year.

The pilgrimage to the shrine was resumed only in October and continued till November last year after which the area got covered with snow.

B D Singh, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Badrinath-Kedarnath Temple Committee said, “On April 30 Lord Kedarnath’s Utsav Doli will be taken from the Omkareshwar temple in Ukhimath. On May 3 it will reach Kedarnath and on May 4 at 6 in the morning the shrine will reopen for pilgrimage.”

Rudraprayag District Magistrate Raghav Langer said, “We are working on war footing on the national highway 109 and the alternative roads to reach Guptkashi, which is the town before one starts on the bridle path for Kedarnath.”

The Border Road Organisation (BRO) has to construct 1.5 kilometre (km) stretch of the NH 109 but it is undergoing a fund crunch of about Rs 40 crore. The fund is expected to be released by March 10.

Till the BRO gets its sanctions the Public Works Department (PWD) has been instructed to work on the NH 109, Dr Langer said.

Mr. Langer said, “A 78 km stretch called Mayali-Guptkashi state highway is an alternative route. This road was used to reach Guptkashi when the NH 109 got washed off at several places during the disaster last year.”

Mr. Langer said the work on this alternative route is on and will be completed by April 30.

The 21 km bridle path to the shrine starts from Sonprayag. “Snow on the bridal path is restraining work at present. We will proceed with the work on the bridle path as the snow in the region starts melting,” Mr. Langer said.

The Gangotri and the Yamunori shrines, both of which are in Uttarkashi district, will reopen for pilgrimage on May 2. The Badrinath shrine, which is in Chamoli district, will reopen on May 5.