The portals of the Kedarnath shrine in the Himalayas were closed for the winter season today after an elaborate prayer ceremony lasting for over four hours.
The gates of the temple, which houses one of the eleven jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva and attracts devotees from across the country and abroad, were closed at 8.30am on the occasion of Bhratri Dwitiya, Badri-Kedar Mandir Samiti officer Harish Gaud said.
After the special puja was performed with ashes and wild flowers by the chief priest of the shrine T Gangadhar Linga, an idol of Lord Shiva kept in a flower bedecked palanquin left for Omkareshwar Temple in Ukhimath where it is worshipped during winter, he said.
The special puja started at 4am and hundreds of devotees braved icy winds to witness the temple's wintertime closure, he said.
The palanquin carrying the Shiva idol will reach Ukhimath on November 11 morning, he said.