Saturday, 15 May 2021 | PNS | Rudraprayag
The Panchmukhi idol of Kedarnath departed from the lord’s winter abode of Ukhimath on Friday. Due to the conditions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the doli of lord Kedarnath went by a vehicle this time instead of being carried by devotees on foot. Passing by the Vishwanath temple in Guptkashi, Fata and Sonprayag, the procession will reach Gaurikund for night rest before progressing further towards Kedarnath.
Earlier, the rituals began at the Omkareshwar temple in Ukhimath on Friday morning with the ritual worship of Bhairav, the Kshetrapal of Kedarnath. The Panchmukhi idol of Kedarnath was then seated in the palanquin ritually in the presence of various priests and officials concerned. As the doli progresses in its vehicle, at various stops, the devotees will have to maintain social distancing and other Covid guidelines to pay their obeisance and seek blessings of the lord. After reaching Gaurikund on Friday and spending the night there, the procession will then continue on foot covering a distance of about 17 kilometres to reach Kedarnath. There the doli will stay for two days after which the Kedarnath shrine will be reopened ritually in the early morning on May 17.
Meanwhile, the portals of Badrinath shrine will be reopened to the public on May 18 at 4:15 AM. The Rawal (chief priest) of Badrinath, Ishvari Prasad Namboodari, the seat of Adi Shankaracharya and representatives of the Dimri Panchayat with the Gadu Ghada containing the sesame seed oil used to anoint the lord will reach the Yogdhyan Mandi at Pandukeshwar on May 16. They will then reach Badrinath on the evening of May 17. It is also pertinent to mention here that the portals of the Dwitiya Kedar shrine Madmaheshvar will be reopened on May 20 while the portals of Tritiya Kedar shrine Tungnath and Chaturth Kedar shrine Rudranath will be reopened on May 17.