Highway to Badrinath closed after snowfall

Dehradun: The highway to the hill shrine of Badrinath in Uttarakhand has been shut due to heavy snowfall, officials said on Monday.

Officials told IANS that Sunday's snowfall blocked traffic in Lokhandi region of Chakrata, 86 km from here.

Landslides were reported on the Rishikesh-Badrinath road near Khadchadha and Lambagad while Gaursaun, Vedni Bugyal, Roopkund, Rudranath and Kuari Pass received light snowfall.

The Badrinath shrine, dedicated to Hindu god Vishnu, is located some 10,240 feet above sea level in the lower reaches of the Himalayas.

The route to the temple is one of the most fascinating due to the hilly terrain and numerous mountain cliffs.

The inclement weather has also stopped the restoration and construction work in the Kedarnath temple area, which suffered extensive damage following massive floods two years ago.

Badrinath and Kedarnath constitute two of the shrines in the "Char Dhaam", the others being Yamunotri and Gangotri.

The Met department has predicted more snow in the next few days after which summer is expected to set in.

The winters have been unusually harsh in Uttarakhand. The recent rains and snowfall have only added to the miseries of the people.

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