Incessant snowfall since last night in Kedarnath and Badrinath, coupled with rains and landslide in Lambagad disrupted pilgrimage to the Himalayan shrines for hours today, with the authorities preventing devotees from moving beyond Linchauli and Bhimbali.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat over the phone to take a stock of the situation and offered all help in case of an emergency.
Nearly half a dozen Congressmen, including former chief minister Harish Rawat, the party's Rajya Sabha MP Pradeep Tamta and local MLA Manoj Rawat were stranded at the shrine throughout the day as the weather was not appropriate to fly choppers on which they were supposed to return, Rudraprayag SP Prahlad Meena told PTI.
Continuous snowfall since morning at Kedarnath disrupted the yatra to the shrine for several hours. The pilgrims were asked to stay put at Linchauli and Bhimbali till the weather clears up, the SP said.
Rubble from a landslip triggered by rains at Lambagad about 15 km from Badrinath kept the highway enroute the shrine blocked till 4 pm, with vehicles carrying pilgrims stranded on either side the boulders on the road, Chamoli district police said.
However, the route has now been opened and efforts are on to first led the vehicles stranded between Badrinath and Lambagad pass. After that vehicles, waiting in long queues near Joshimath, to go to Badrinath will be alloed to move, it said.
The Rishikesh-Yamunotri national highway was also blocked by huge boulders falling from the hill at Dabarkot leaving hundreds of pilgrims stranded for around four hours, a report from Uttarkashi said.
Accompanied by supporters, Harish Rawat began his trek to the shrine on Sunday to pay obeisance to Lord Shiva and to test what he termed as the truth of BJP's claims over reconstruction work carried out at Kedarpuri, the township around the temple.