NEWS PM KEDARNATH
NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in meditation at a cave near the Kedarnath Temple on Saturday night, after he trekked his way to the holy Hindu shrine and offered prayers. The PM was on a two-day visit of Uttarakhand for prayers and peace of mind after a gruelling campaign schedule for the BJP-led NDA in the past few weeks. He would visit the Badrinath shrine on Sunday.
The Prime Minister’s visit to the shrines comes a day after the end of the campaign for the LS polls and a day before the last phase of elections in which his Varanasi constituency also lines up. Varanasi is among the 13 LS constituencies in Uttar Pradesh that will witness voting on Sunday. The last phase overall has 59 constituencies up for polls.
The PM had visited Kedarnath four times in the last four years. This time, he will exit the cave Sunday morning.
Modi had flown into the Jollygrant airport in the morning, and did the trekking over a two-km distance, dressed in a traditional pahari overall. Throughout his trek, he carried walking stick with him for physical support. A set of commandos accompanied the PM. The 68-year-old Modi offered prayers at the temple for around half-an-hour and undertook circum-ambulation of the shrine. Then, he headed for the Rudra cave. Inside, he meditated on a bed, backed by a pillow. He bowed repeatedly in prayers.
The prime minister also took time to review the reconstruction efforts at Kedarnath, where cloudbursts followed by heavy flooding had caused massive damage in 2013. At the time of the disater, Modi as Gujarat CM had deployed special planes to airlift the stranded devotees from the state caught in the scene of the disaster. Throngs of Gujaratis were seen at the temple on Saturday too, and they were overjoyed at having had two “darshans” in one go — of Lord Siva and PM Modi.
The PM would return to Delhi by Sunday afternoon. With Sunday’s polling, curtains will fall on the voting season, and the wait will start for the counting of votes on May 23, Thursday. Exit poll results could be expected after the close of voting on Sunday, by 5pm.–IHN-NN
ABOUT RUDRA CAVE
It was last year that the work for the cave started at PM Modi’s initiative and a governmental allocation of Rs eight lakh. Spread over five metre length and three metre width, the cave has facility for meditation for only one person at a time, at the rate of Rs 3,000. Coffee, tea, meals and snacks are available inside the cave, besides facility to make phone calls. Personal assistance will also be available inside, to those who book the cave for meditation. The cave is situated a km further up the Kedarnath temple. IHN=NN
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