AGENCIES, Dehradun: As the Kedarnath shrine in Uttarakhand is set to open its doors on April 29, the annual Panchmukhi Doli Yatra (procession) was undertaken in the absence of pilgrims due to the ongoing nation-wide lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic, reports news agency PTI.
The yatra, which is a part of the Char Dham pilgrimage and is usually led by the Kumao Battalion of the Army with more than 1,000 pilgrims each year, was carried out by only five people from the Kedarnath temple this time.
The Char Dham yatra, the opening ceremony of the four temples in Uttarakhand, is an important annual event attended by tens of thousands of pilgrims but the extended lockdown has cast its shadow on the processions this year.
The Kedarnath devotees on Tuesday carried a palanquin with Lord Panchmukhi’s idol, making their way on foot through almost 10 feet of snow.
The annual Char Dham Yatra began on Saturday with the opening of the Gangotri and Yamunotri temples in Garhwal Himalayas. The Utsav Doli of Baba Kedar (Lord Shiva) also left from Omkareshwar temple in Ukhimath on Sunday for Kedarnath.
Situated in the heights of the great Himalayas, the four pilgrim destinations of Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath are collectively known as Char Dham.
“Our priority at the moment is opening the portals of the temples in accordance with religious beliefs and traditions associated with them. The rest of the decisions will be taken as per the Centre’s directives,” Satpal Maharaj told PTI.