The Adi Shankaracharya Samadhi has been reconstructed after its destruction in the 2013 Uttarakhand floods.
Minutes before the inauguration, the prime minister performed aarti at the ancient temple and offered prayers at the hill shrine. He paid obeisance to Shiva and undertook circumambulation of the Kedarnath shrine after offering prayers.
Earlier, Uttarakhand Governor Lt Gen Gurmit Singh (Retd) and Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami had received Prime Minister Modi at the Dehradun airport.
The prime minister inaugurated key infrastructure projects worth Rs 130 crores, including Saraswati Retaining Wall Aasthapath and Ghats, Mandakini Retaining Wall Aasthapath, Tirth Purohit Houses and Garud Chatti Bridge on River Mandakini.
The prime minister is scheduled to lay the foundation stone for multiple projects in the hill state and address a public rally during his visit to the shrine. His visit comes ahead of the 2022 assembly polls in the state.
This will be the prime minister’s second visit to the temple during his term; the last time he visited the Kedarnath temple was in 2019.
Modi said all “mutts and jyotirlingas in the country are connected with us today” as he unveiled a 12-foot statue of Adi Guru Shankaracharya at the seer’s rebuilt samadhi in Kedarnath today.
“You all are witness to the inauguration of Adi Shankaracharya Samadhi here today. His devotees are present here in spirit. All maths and ‘jyotirlingas’ in the country are connected with us today,” Modi said.
“There was a time when spirituality and religion were believed to be associated only with stereotypes. But, Indian philosophy talks about human welfare, sees life in a holistic manner. Adi Shankaracharya worked to make society aware of this truth,” Modi further said.
Work on the AdiShankaracharya statue, weighing around 35 tonnes, began in 2019. Modi laid the foundation stone of reconstruction projects worth over Rs 400 crore at the Himalayan temple.
“After the 2013 destruction, people used to think if Kedarnath could be redeveloped. But a voice within me always told me that Kedarnath will be redeveloped again,” Modi said.
“I have regularly reviewed redevelopment works at Kedarnath from Delhi. I reviewed the progress of different works being carried out here through drone footage. I want to thank all ‘rawals’ here for their guidance for these works,” the Prime Minister further said.
Earlier in the day, Modi offered prayers at the Shiva temple in Kedarnath after arriving at the Dehradun airport. He was received by Uttarakhand Governor Lt Gen Gurmit Singh (retd) and Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami.