The Kedarnath shrine, dedicated to Lord Shiva, opened for pilgrims on Sunday morning after almost six months of closure.

The Kedarnath shrine, dedicated to Lord Shiva, opened for pilgrims on Sunday morning after almost six months of closure.

According to Rudraprayag District Magistrate Raghav Langer, the portals “opened at 5.55 a.m. today [Sunday].”

Mr. Langer said that about 600 people were present during the opening ceremony of the shrine, located at a height of about 11,700 feet.

By Sunday evening, 1,560 people visited the shrine, he said.

The Tourism Department has started biometric registration for the yatra. It is taking place at three places — Guptkashi, Sonprayag, and Kedarnath.

Of the 17 kms to Kedarnath, the last three-km stretch is still covered with snow. “The snow has been cut to form a bridle path for the pilgrims,” Mr. Langer said.

The shrine in Rudraprayag district, which is visited by almost seven 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 deluge.

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

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