The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi laid foundation stones and dedicated to the Nation various development projects in Kedarnath. He inaugurated Shri Adi Shankaracharya Samadhi and unveiled the statue of Shri Adi Shankaracharya. He also reviewed and inspected the executed and ongoing infrastructure works. The Prime Minister also offered prayers at the Kedarnath Temple. Prayers were offered and celebrations held at 12 Jyotirlingas and 4 dhams and many places of faith all over the country along with the event at Kedarnath Dham, all events were linked to the main event at Kedarnath Dham.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister evoked the great spiritual rishi tradition of India and expressed his indescribable joy on coming to Kedarnath Dham. Recalling his interaction with soldiers at Nowshera yesterday, he said yesterday, on Diwali, he took the feelings of 130 crore Indians to soldiers, today, on Govardhan Puja, he said that I was on the land of soldiers and in the divine presence of Baba Kedar. The Prime Minister quoted a verse from Ramcharitmanas- ‘अबिगत अकथ अपार, नेति-नेति नित निगम कह’ meaning some experiences are so supernatural, so infinite that they cannot be expressed in words. He said this is how he feels under the shelter of Baba Kedarnath.
The Prime Minister said that new facilities like shelters, facilitation centres will ease the lives of priests and devotees and allow them to fully immerse in the divine experience of the pilgrimage. Recalling the Kedarnath floods in 2013, the Prime Minister noted that damage caused by the floods years ago was unimaginable. He said “people who used to come here used to think that will this our Kedar Dham stand up again? But my inner voice was saying that it will stand with more pride than ever before.” The Prime Minister said due to the grace of Lord Kedar and inspiration of Adi Shankaracharya and his experience of managing the aftermath of the Bhuj Earthquake, he could be of help in those difficult times. He struck a personal note and said that it is a blessing that he could serve the place which nurtured him earlier in his life. He thanked all the workers, priests, Rawal families of the priests, officials and the Chief Minister for relentlessly pursuing the development works at the Dham. I said he kept monitoring the work through drones and other technologies. He said that “this combination of modernity with the eternal on this ancient land, these development works are the result of the natural grace of Lord Shankar.”
Talking about Adi Shankaracharya, Shri Modi said that the meaning of Shankar in Sanskrit is – “शं करोति सः शंकरः”. That is, the one who does welfare is Shankar. This grammar was directly proven by Acharya Shankar. His life was as extraordinary as it was devoted to the welfare of the common man, he said. The Prime Minister recalled there was a time when spirituality and religion started getting linked with stereotypes and outdated practices. Whereas, Indian philosophy talks about human welfare and looks at life in a holistic way. Adi Shankaracharya did the work of making society aware of this truth, he said.
The Prime Minister emphasized that today, our cultural heritage centers of faith are being viewed with deserved and valid pride, as they should be viewed. “A grand temple of Lord Shri Ram is coming up in Ayodhya. Ayodhya is getting its glory back. Just two days ago, the whole world saw the grand celebration of Deepotsav in Ayodhya. Today we can imagine how the ancient cultural form of India must have been”, Shri Modi said. The Prime Minister said that today’s India is confident about its heritage. “Today, India sets tough goals and deadlines for itself. Today, it is not acceptable for India to be timid about deadlines and goals”, the Prime Minister said. Talking about the contribution of heroes of the Freedom Struggle, the Prime Minister asked the countrymen to visit the places related to the glorious freedom struggle of India and pious places of pilgrimage and get acquainted with the spirit of India.
The Prime Minister said that the third decade of the 21st century belongs to Uttarakhand. He informed that work is going on at a fast pace on the Chardham road project, connecting with the Chardham highways. In future, the work has started so that devotees can come here to Kedarnath ji through cable car. There is also the holy Hemkund Sahib Ji nearby. Work is going on to build a ropeway to make the darshan in Hemkund Sahib ji easy. “Keeping in mind the immense potential and full faith in the capabilities of the people of Uttarakhand, the State government is involved in the ‘mahayagya’ of Uttarakhand’s development”, he said.
The Prime Minister lauded the discipline shown by Uttarakhand in the fight against Corona. Overcoming the geographical difficulties, today Uttarakhand and its people have achieved the target of 100 % single dose vaccination. This is the strength and power of Uttarakhand, he said. “Uttarakhand is situated at a very high elevation. My Uttarakhand will scale even greater heights than its own elevation”, The Prime Minister concluded.
Shri Adi Shankaracharya Samadhi has been reconstructed after the destruction in the 2013 floods. The entire reconstruction work has been undertaken under the guidance of the Prime Minister, who has constantly reviewed and monitored the progress of the project. Today also, the Prime Minister reviewed and inspected the executed and ongoing works along the Saraswati Aasthapath. Key infrastructure projects which have been completed, including Saraswati Retaining Wall Aasthapath and Ghats, Mandakini Retaining Wall Aasthapath, Tirth Purohit Houses and Garud Chatti bridge on river Mandakini. The projects have been completed at a cost of over Rs. 130 crore. He also laid the foundation stone for multiple projects worth over Rs 180 crore, including the Redevelopment of Sangam Ghat, First Aid and Tourist Facilitation Centre, Admin Office and Hospital, two Guest Houses, Police Station, Command & Control Centre, Mandakini Aasthapath Queue Management and Rainshelter and Saraswati Civic Amenity Building.