Kedarnath: Three months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi spent a day at a meditation cave at the Kedarnath shrine in Uttarakhand, in the final days of the general elections, the Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam (GMVN) has started the construction of another cave 15 metres away, “seeing the demand”.
The Rudra cave was booked for the entire month in June when Kedarnath gets the maximum pilgrims. As the monsoon set in, the number of bookings fell to nine in July but are again up to 14 in August, with one more week to go. There is advance booking for 10 days in September and eight days in October. In all, there have been 74 bookings so far in the current tourist season, that starts in April and lasts till October-November. Only one person can stay in the cave at a time.
The Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam has begun to construct a second cave for pilgrims at the Kedarnath shrine following a huge uptick in demand. Cave bookings have soared following a visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May this year (2019) during which he stayed at the specially built Rudra meditation cave.
Since then, it has become much more popular with pilgrims. The cave was booked for the whole month of June, with bookings going down to nine in July, but picking up again in August to reach 14.
After the second built, GMVN wants to build another three caves along the same lines. The total carpet area for new caves may be increased considering the needs of pilgrims.