Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated key infrastructure projects, worth Rs 130 crore, and laid the foundation stone of development works in Kedarnath on Friday. Spare a few minutes to know more about it.
Unveiled a statue
He also unveiled a 12-foot-high statue of Adi Guru Shankaracharya, who started the akhara system in the eighth century AD, at his samadhi sthal that has been reconstructed after its destruction in the 2013 Kedarnath flash floods.
Strong pitch for Hindutva
In his address at the shrine town, the PM made a strong pitch for Hindutva, saying, “Cultural heritage centres of faith are being viewed with deserved and valid pride today, as they should be viewed. Ayodhya is getting its glory back after centuries. A grand temple of Lord Ram is coming up there. Two days back, the entire world witnessed grand Deepotsav celebrations and we can imagine how our ancient culture and traditions must have been.” He urged people to “visit places related to our glorious freedom struggle and pious places of pilgrimage and get acquainted with the spirit of India.”
Special attention to Lord Ram
Modi added that the places associated with Lord Ram would be developed as part of a circuit for devotees. He also highlighted the ongoing projects at Kashi (Varanasi). “Work on Kashi Vishwanath corridor project in Varanasi is also progressing rapidly,” said the PM, adding that efforts are underway to develop a Buddha Circuit as well.
“Now, the country aims high and also sets a time limit to achieve these aims. I hear the voices of 130 crore Indians and an inner voice within me says that getting tied down under the constraint of time-span is no longer acceptable to the country. Today, India doesn’t accept being timid about deadlines and goals,” said the PM.
PM offers Prayers
Earlier, after reaching Kedarnath in the morning, the Prime Minister offered prayers at the shrine. During the visit, prayers were offered at 12 Jyotirlingas and all the four dhams and Shiva temples all over the country in a coordinated event by the BJP.
Later, the PM inaugurated several projects, including the Saraswati retaining wall and ghats, Mandakini retaining wall, teerth purohit houses and Garud Chatti bridge on river Mandakini. He also laid the foundation stone for multiple projects, said to be worth over Rs 180 crore. These include redevelopment of Sangam Ghat and a first-aid and tourist facilitation centre. The PM was also shown a short documentary on the works carried out at Kedarnath in the last few years.
Emotional connect with Kedarnath
The PM in his address spoke emotionally about his connect with Kedarnath. “Whenever I come here, I feel connected with every bit of the place. I feel privileged that I was able to have a darshan at the temple on the auspicious occasion for Govardhan Pooja. There are no words to describe the experience of sitting before Adi Guru Shankaracharya’s statue at his rebuilt samadhi.”
Speaking about the developmental projects in Kedarnath, the PM said, “After the 2013 destruction, people used to wonder if Kedarnath could ever be rebuilt but a voice within me always said that Kedarnath will be redeveloped again with greater glory than before.”
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