Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Friday said he did not trek to Kedarnath in Uttarakhand to seek any divine blessings, but felt empowered once he entered the sacred shrine.
“I had two aims: to pay respects to those who died in a tragedy here. Which is why I decided to trek and not take a chopper. Two, I wanted to see if the shrine is in perfect shape and the visitors are coming,” Rahul told reporters in Kedarnath.
“I generally never ask for anything when I enter a temple. But when I entered inside the shrine, I felt a tremendous spiritual strength inside me,” the 44-year-old Congress leader dressed in a T-shirt and jeans said.
The Gandhi scion, along with senior Congress leaders Ambika Soni and Jitin Prasad, began his 16-km trek to Kedarnath on Thursday, spending the night at at Gaurikund. He reached Kedarnath Friday morning.
The holy shrine, set amid the stunning Garhwal Himalayas at the head of the Mandakini river, suffered extensive damage during the flash floods of 2013 in Uttarakhand that killed thousands of people.
The 8th century temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is situated at an altitude of 3581 meters above sea level. The shrine closes in October-November every year due to snow and reopens in April-May.