Nestled amidst snow-clad mountains and dense forests, by the pristine Mandakini river, Kedarnath draws several thousand travellers every year. Most are pilgrims on a spiritual journey across the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand through a circuit popularly known as the Char Dham (four abodes) yatra. The four important sites here are Yamunotri, Gangotri, Badrinath, and Kedarnath. Temple officials of the Kedarnath temple recently announced that pilgrims could soon head to the region, adding that other important sites will gradually reopen as well.
A religious ritual at Omkareshwar temple, where most religious practices are held while the main Kedarnath temple remains snowbound, marked the recommencement of the Char Dham Trek. The chief priest Rawal Bhimashankar Ling and Badri Kedar Mandir Samiti president Ajendra Ajay were present on the occasion. Harish Gaud, a temple committee official stated that the Kedarnath temple will reopen on May 6, adding the five-faced idol of Hindu god Shiva will be transported in an ornate palanquin decorated with flowers on May 2, according to Zee News.
Besides Kedarnath, the opening dates for other shrines on the circuit have been confirmed. Badrinath temple will reopen on May 8, Financial Express reports. Gangotri and Yamunotri, meanwhile, will open up on May 3, 2022. Officials have stated, as per India.com, that all concerned departments have begun preparations for the Char Dham Yatra.
The temple town of Kedarnath has withstood the test of time and nature, surviving landslides and floods that hit Uttarakhand in 2013. Several legends surround the temple, with some stating that it was built in the 8th century by a Hindu seer and others claiming it was built by the king of Malwa in the 2nd century. The temple stands at a height of 10, 248 feet above sea level and the carvings within the temple are an important archaeological motif. The temple shut down for the winter in November and will reopen for the first time this year in May.
Source: Travel and Leisure India