KEDARNATH: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Friday trekked to the revered Kedarnath shrine and said he was here to pay his respects to the victims of the 2013 floods in the region and did not ask for anything.
Trekking a distance of 16 kilometres to reach the shrine, Gandhi said that though he did not ask for anything at the shrine, he felt a “fire-like” energy after entering the holy portals.
The Congress vice-president said he had two motives to visit the shrine on foot: “First was to respect the people who lost their lives here. In 2013, I came here and saw myself what happened here.
“So I thought if I go Kedarnath in a helicopter it will be disrespectful to them. I thought the way those pilgrims came here, I should come here the same way…
“The second motive is that a lot of people work here. Porters are here, they have carried your cameras here. They carry things and people.
“They are facing a lot of difficulties and are in fear. They are in fear because a tragedy had occurred here and also the tourists who come here are facing a lot of discomfort and fear.”
“So I thought if I walk, then our brothers, who are here, it will be advantageous for them. People will come and their fears will be reduced a bit,” he said.
Asked what wish he had asked in the temple, Gandhi said he did not ask for anything.
“Usually when I go to a temple I don’t wish for anything. That is my habit I don’t ask. I went to the temple and did not ask anything. But I went inside I experienced some fire-like energy,” he said.
Meanwhile, the gates of the Kedarnath shrine were thrown open for devotees amid elaborate rituals on Friday morning.
“Chief priest of the shrine (Rawal) presided over the opening of the doors of temple and its sanctum sanatorium at 4.50am in presence of Rudraprayag district officials and temple trust officials,” president of Kedarnath-Badrinath temple trust, Ganesh Gadiyal, said.
The daily ritualistic puja would start only after the opening of the sacred portals of Bhairavnath temple on April 26, he said. – From Asian Age