Today, August 2, 2013, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna announced that the Puja at the Kedarnath temple would restart from September 11, 2013.
This date for restart of the puja at the Kedarnath temple was decided at a high-level meeting between Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna and office bearers of the Kedarnath Mandir Samiti, which oversees the revered shrine.
One of the most revered shrines of Hindus; Kedarnath shrine was rendered non-functional since the June 16-17 flash floods that wiped out entire Kedarnath town and killed hundreds.
A senior official said September 11 was auspicious as “Naag Panchami” would be observed on that day. The stars would in the right conjunction to restart the prayers that were halted after flash floods ravaged the area June 16.
Clearing the debris at the shrine is posing the biggest challenge to the government in calamity-hit Uttarakhand with several government-constituted teams having returned from here without making much headway.
Though cleaning of the sanctum sanctorum of the Kedarnath shrine and its interiors is complete, debris removal can be taken up only after the heavy equipment meant for the purpose reaches the shrine and is reassembled there.
Kedarnath Temple is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, the holiest Hindu shrines of Shiva. The temple is believed to have been built by Pandavas and revived by Adi Sankaracharya.
Due to extreme weather conditions, the temple is open only between the end of April (Akshay trutya) to Kartik Purnima (the autumn full moon, usually November) every year. During the winters, the gates of Kedarnath, are closed every year in October during winter due to snowbound conditions and during this time of the year the vigrahas (deities) from Kedarnath temple are brought to Ukhimath and worshipped there for six months.