Kedarnath shrine closes for winter

The sacred portals of the Himalayan shrine of Kedarnath were closed on Tuesday for the winter season.   Around 1200 devotees attended the ceremony as the gates of the Himalayan shrine were closed at 8.30 am, temple committee sources said.   An idol of the presiding deity Lord Shiva was taken in a flower bedecked palanquin after the closure of the portals to be carried to the Omkareshwar Temple at Ukhimath where he will be worshipped during the next six months.    Chants of "Jai Baba Kedar" filled the air as the procession left for Ukhimath to a tune played by the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry band.    The procession will reach the Omkareshwar Temple on October 31 via Rampur and Guptkashi. A total of 9,97,585 devotees paid obeisance at the shrine this season.

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