28 January 2023
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The Kedarnath Yatra has been halted as heavy rains wrecked havoc in Uttarakhand on Monday, as per authorities. An orange alert has also been issued in the state.

According to a report by Indian Express, due to rough weather conditions, the pilgrims walking their way up to the Kedarnath shrine were stopped and asked to return to their hotels. Helicopter services have also been discontinued as of now.

“After the orange alert and incessant rain since morning, we have stopped devotees on foot and have been urging them to return to their hotels… Do not hike to the temple for now and stay safe,” news agency ANI quoted Rudraprayag CO Pramod Kumar as saying. “An orange alert is on for tomorrow as well. We have stopped around 5,000 people from Guptkashi. Heli services are also closed for now,” Kumar added.

According to the weather department, an extra-tropical weather system approaching from north Pakistan led to formation of rain-bearing clouds that brought showers to parts of Uttarakhand, along with Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, and Himachal Pradesh early on Monday. Several places in Uttarakhand also experienced thunderstorms, Indian Express said in a report.

According to the report by ANI, authorities said that the temperature in Kedarnath dropped on Monday due to snowfall. There was extreme cold in the area. The snowfall had started last evening and people were seen taking refuge under umbrellas. Reportedly, the hills around Baba Kedarnath temple looked white and unstained due to snowfall. Despite the bitter cold, a large number of pilgrims were present for darshan on Monday.

The Chardham yatra began with the opening of Gangotri and Yamunotri portals for devotees on 3 May, on the occasion of Akshay Tritiya in the presence of Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami. While Kedarnath re-opened on 6 May, the doors of Badrinath opened on 8 May, ANI said.

With input from agencies

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Abdul Gh Lone

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