A week after the opening of famous Kedarnath shrine, the yatra was put on hold after heavy showfall and bad weather in the region, a report said on Sunday.
According to the news reports, around 144 pilgrims have been stoped at Guptkashi.
The Kedarnath and Badrinath shrines were re-opened for the pilgrims amid moderate rainfall last week.
Meanwhile, holding that arrangements for the Kedarnath yatra are not adequate yet, the temple’s chief priest Bhimashankar Ling also advised the devotees planning to visit the Himalayan shrine to put their plans on hold for at least a week as it could be ‘risky’.
Citing the poor condition of the road leading to the shrine, the chief priest said, “Undertaking the arduous journey could be “risky” at present but hoped things will soon be okay as the snow melts and work on Linchauli to Kedarnatrh pedestrian route paces up.”
“The slopes on Linchauli to Kedarnath route are too steep which can cause problems to the old. Snow is still there in the area. The soil is wet. It will take at least 7-8 days more for the road leading to the shrine to be complete.
So I would advise pilgrims not to undertake the journey to Kedarnath for at least a week,” the chief priest told news agency.
Though the state government is working overtime to repair and construct the roads everything is not quite in place as of now, he said.
There are no mule operators to be found in the area this year as in the past.
Only facilities made available by the state government are there. So devotees, young and old alike, have to walk to the temple. What is adding to their woes is rains on short intervals in the area which have kept the soil wet.
Noting that the number of devotees visiting the shrine this year has plummeted sharply, the chief priest attributed it partially to the fear psychosis gripping people outside the state and also to the ongoing Lok Sabha polls.
“People outside the state have still not been able to put behind memories of last year’s calamity.I think macabre images of last year’s flashfloods still haunt them,” he said but hoped that with the passage of time, the memories will fade and people will feel confident to undertake the yatra.
The ongoing elections in different parts of the country is another reason why people are not coming.
Pilgrim traffic to the shrine has seen a 90 per cent drop this year, sources in Kedarnath-Badrinath temple committee said requesting anonymity.
The two other shrines – Gangotri and Yamunotri – which along with Kedarnath and Badrinath constitute the ‘Chard Dham’ had reopened on May 2, approximately a year after the entire region was destroyed due to the flash floods that had left hundreds of people dead.