The Kedarnath temple, the site of death and untold devastation wreaked by the flash floods in Uttarakhand almost three months ago, today observed its first puja in a symbolic opening.

Prayers resumed at the revered 6th century shrine - dedicated to Lord Shiva - shortly after 7:30 am and went on till 11 am. The temple's chief priest, Rawal Bhima Shankar Ling Shivacharya, unlocked the portals of the temple and stepped into the sanctum-sanctorum to perform the puja.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna, though, missed the prayers as his chopper could not take off from Dehradun due to inclement weather.


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Several media teams, who had also arrived in the state to cover the ceremony, are also stuck in Guptkashi, nearly 22 kilometres from the Kedar Valley, which is enveloped with a thick cover of fog and mist.

But that has failed to dampen the spirits at the historic temple bore a festive look. The shrine, bedecked with flowers, reverberated with the collective recitals of Vedic hymns and blowing of
conch shells.

The puja began with a 'shuddhikaran' (purification) of the temple and 'prayashchitikaran' (atonement for prolonged suspension of prayers at the shrine).

Nearly 300 workers from the state Public Works Department (PWD) had worked tirelessly to ensure the success of the temple's opening. The workers, though, have succeeded in clearing debris from only 50 metres around the temple; the path to the temple's sanctum sanctorum has also been cleared. The destruction near the temple, though, will take months to clear.

The resumption of prayers at the shrine, located at a height of 13,500 feet is of limited nature, as no pilgrim is being allowed to visit the temple.

A meeting is scheduled to be held on September 30 to decide the date for resumption of Yatra for pilgrims to the famed Himalayan temple.

http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/after-nearly-three-months-prayers-resume-at-kedarnath-temple-417106?curl=1378898796