Snowfall, rain continue at Badrinath, Kedarnath; pilgrims cautioned

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Devotees try to protect themselves as it snows at the Kedarnath temple in Rudraprayag district

Devotees try to protect themselves as it snows at the Kedarnath temple in Rudraprayag district

Dehradun: Intermittent snowfall and rain continued at the Himalayan temples of Badrinath and Kedarnath in Uttarakhand on Monday, prompting authorities to issue an appeal to Chardham pilgrims to proceed on their journey only after taking necessary precautions.

In view of the weather, the Rudraprayag district administration has appealed to pilgrims coming to visit Kedarnath to stay where they are for the time being for their safety.

The meteorological office has also issued a yellow alert for the state for Monday forecasting hailstorms, rain and snowfall at places located above 3,500 metres.

Pilgrims, particularly those coming to Kedarnath, are advised to proceed on their journey only after taking a weather update and making arrangements for their stay in advance so that they do not face any inconvenience, Badrinath-Kedarnath Temple Committee chairman Ajendra Ajay said.

Snowfall and rain, which had triggered a landslide on the Badrinath national highway on Sunday, disrupting the yatra to the temple for nine hours, continued on Monday too.

The Chardham yatra is a pilgrimage to the Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath temples.

Rudraprayag District Magistrate Mayur Dikshit said the meteorological department has issued an alert for the next two to three days, in which there is a possibility of rain and snow in the upper Himalayan regions.

He appealed to pilgrims coming to Kedarnath Dham to stay at the place where they are till the weather improves.

There is continuous snowfall in Kedarnath Dham at present and the yatra is being controlled and people not being allowed to go to Kedarnath after 10.30 am from Sonprayag.

Pilgrims should take special care of their safety and cooperate with the district administration by following guidelines, Dikshit said.

He has asked the yatris to start the journey to Kedarnath only when the weather is fine.

The Badrinath national highway was opened on Monday and Dikshit inspected the Sirobagad-Jawadi stretch of the road along with PWD officials.

He instructed officials to have the potholes on the stretch repaired immediately so that pilgrims do not face any kind of trouble and inconvenience.

Earthmoving machines should be available at all times in the Sirobagad landslide prone area, Dikshit said.