The idol of lord Shiva was moved out of his winter abode at Ukhimath's Omkareshwar temple in a flower bedecked palanquin on Monday to be reinstalled at Kedarnath before the sacred portals of the Himalayan shrine are thrown open on May 9.
The ceremony took place in presence of a large number of devotees as priest Kedar Ling offered special prayers to mark the beginning of Baba Kedar's journey to his original abode at the Himalayan shrine.
Borne on the shoulders of devotees, the palanquin at the head of a procession will reach Kedarnath via Fata and Gaurikund on May 8, Badrinath-Kedarnath Mandir Samiti CEO BD Singh said.
The gates of the famous temple will be opened at 5.35 am on May 9, he said.
Kedarnath which is visited by lakhs of tourists and devotees every year from across the country and abroad is closed during winter, when it is snowbound.
An idol of the deity is kept at the Omkareshwar temple in Ukhimath and worshipped there during that period.