Kedarnath: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday offered prayers at the Himalayan shrine of Kedarnath, a day after campaigning for the general election came to a close.
On Sunday, he is expected to be in Badrinath, another temple in Uttarakhand's 'char dham' religious circuit.
Dressed in a grey traditional pahari attire, Modi offered prayers for about 30 minutes and undertook a circumambulation of the Kedarnath shrine situated at a height of 11,755 feet near the Mandakini river.
The prime minister then went inside a cave near the shrine to meditate. Draped in a saffron shawl, Modi was seen meditating at the holy cave.
Earlier in the day, Modi arrived at the Jollygrant airport after he finished his whirlwind election campaigning on Friday ahead of Sunday's final phase of the seven-phased Lok Sabha polls. He was scheduled to fly directly from Jollygrant to Kedarnath.
Reviewing aspects of the ongoing Kedarnath Development Project. pic.twitter.com/bVOFnCozug— Chowkidar Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 18, 2019
PM Modi also shared the pictures he clicked on the way to Kedarnath temple.
Majestic mountains! Clicked these pictures while on the way to Kedarnath. pic.twitter.com/Jpcq6n52sr— Chowkidar Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 18, 2019
Rudraprayag's district collector Mangesh ghildiyal said devotees were not allowed to enter inside the temple premises when Modi was offering prayers.
Modi also took stock of development work in the temple town. Uttarakhand chief secretary Utpal Kumar Singh briefed the prime minister about the restoration work in the Kedarnath shrine. Modi later took an all-terrain vehicle to review the reconstruction work. Kedarnath was devastated in a series of cloudbursts in 2013.
This is Modi's fourth visit to the temple dedicated to Lord Shiva in the last two years.
The portals of Kedarnath and Badrinath shrines reopened for devotees earlier this month after the winter break.
BJP Uttarakhand president Ajay Bhatt said Modi's trip is "just a spiritual visit", and the people of the state are excited for it. Stringent security arrangements were made for the prime minister's visit, Director General of Police (law and order) Ashok Kumar said.
After spending the night at Kedarnath, Modi would fly to Badrinath on Sunday. He would return to New Delhi on the same day later.
Security has been tightened around both the shrines in view of the Prime Minister's visit, said Ashok Kumar, Director General (Law and Order).
(With inputs from agencies)