Dehradun: Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered prayers at the famous Kedarnath temple in Uttarakhand's Rudraprayag district and laid the foundation stone for the Gaurikund-Kedarnath ropeway project on Friday.
PM Modi in Kedarnath
Wearing a white-coloured traditional attire of the hill people with a "swastika" symbol embroidered on it, the prime minister performed a "puja" at the temple.
During his two-day tour of the state, Modi will inspect various ongoing development projects and lay the foundation stones for some new ones.
After performing the "puja" at the Kedarnath temple, the prime minister laid the foundation stone for the 9.7-km Gaurikund-Kedarnath ropeway project. Using the ropeway, devotees will now be able to reach the temple from Gaurikund in 30 minutes.
The priests who performed the "puja" prayed for strength to the prime minister to take the country forward.
Modi also visited the Samadhi Sthal of Adi Guru Shankaracharya and spent some time there.
He also reviewed the progress of development works along Mandakini Asthapath and Saraswati Asthapath and interacted with the construction workers engaged in the Kedarnath Dham development project.
PM Modi in Badrinath
Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived at the Badrinath temple in Uttarakhand's Chamoli after performing a "puja" at the Kedarnath temple.
He was accompanied by Uttarakhand Governor Lt Gen (Retd) Gurmeet Singh and Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami to the shrine where the Prime Minister offered prayer at the Badrinath temple.
After worshipping at Badrinath, PM Modi is scheduled to review the progress of the development work of the riverfront, followed by laying the foundation stone of road and ropeway projects at Mana village.
He will review the progress of the development work of the arrival plaza and lakes.
Gaurikund to Kedarnath ropeway project
The ropeway in Kedarnath will be around 9.7 km long and will connect Gaurikund to Kedarnath, reducing the travel time between the two places from 6-7 hours at present to only about 30 mins.
The Hemkund ropeway will connect Govindghat to Hemkund Sahib. It will be around 12.4 km long and will reduce the travel time from more than a day to only about 45 mins. This ropeway will also connect Ghangaria, which is the gateway to Valley of Flowers National Park, said the PMO statement.
The ropeways, which will be developed at a cumulative cost of around Rs 2,430 crore, are an environment-friendly mode of transport that will provide a safe, secure and stable mode of transport. This major infrastructure development will give a boost to religious tourism, which will give a fillip to the economic development in the region and lead to the creation of multiple employment opportunities as well.
Foundation stone for road widening projects worth around Rs 1000 crore will also be laid during the visit. The two road widening projects - from Mana to Mana Pass (NH07) and from Joshimath to Malari (NH107B) - shall be another step towards providing last-mile all-weather road connectivity to our border areas. Apart from boosting connectivity, these projects will also prove beneficial from a strategic point of view as well.
Kedarnath and Badrinath are among the most important Hindu shrines. The area is also known for one of the revered Sikh Pilgrim site - Hemkund Sahib. The connectivity projects are aimed to ease access and improve basic infrastructure in places of religious significance.
(With Inputs from PTI and ANI)