"The decade belongs to Uttarakhand, there will be an unprecedented boost to connectivity in the region in the coming years and migration of people from the hills will stop," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday, November 5. He was addressing a large gathering of teerth-purohits and devotees at the Kedarnath temple after unveiling a 12-foot statue of Adi Guru Shankaracharya at the seer's rebuilt samadhi. The Prime Minister also reviewed the reconstruction work carried out at the site over the last few years.
PM Modi reached Kedarnath from Dehradun on the morning of Friday, and offered prayers at the Shiva temple. He then visited the 'Bheem Shila' behind the temple. The huge rock had rolled down the mountains during the June 2013 deluge and stopped right behind the temple, and is believed to have protected it from the disaster.
Work on the Shankaracharya statue, weighing around 35 tonnes, had begun in 2019. Its unveiling was streamed live at 12 jyotirlingas, four mutts established by the eighth century seer, his birth place and a number of prominent temples across the country.
PM Modi also inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of a slew of reconstruction projects worth over Rs 400 crore at Kedarpuri. The work done in Kedarpuri will make pilgrimage to the Himalayan temple smoother, besides making the lives of teerth-purohits living there easier, the PM said.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami and Governor Lt Gen Gurmit Singh (retd) were also in Kedarnath along with the PM, whose visit came a day ahead of the Himalayan temple's closure for winter on Saturday.
PM Modi was received at the Dehradun airport in the morning by the Governor, along with the Chief Minister and his Cabinet colleagues Subodh Uniyal and Ganesh Joshi, besides Assembly Speaker Premchand Aggarwal.
The Kedarpuri reconstruction's progress is reviewed personally by the Prime Minister at regular intervals.