DEHRADUN/KEDARNATH: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday unveiled a 12-foot statue of Adi Guru Shankaracharya at the seer’s rebuilt samadhi in Kedarnath and laid the foundation stone of reconstruction projects worth over Rs 400 crore at the Himalayan temple.

The prime minister reached Kedarnath from Dehradun in the morning and offered prayers at the Shiva temple.

After arriving in Kedarnath, Modi watched a brief documentary detailing the reconstruction work carried out at the Himalayan temple after the devastating deluge of 2013 and then entered the sanctum sanctorum of the shrine.

He offered prayers and walked to the “Bheem Shila” behind the temple.

The huge rock had rolled down the mountains during the June 2013 deluge and stopped right behind the temple, and is credited for protecting it from the disaster.

Work on the Shankaracharya statue, weighing around 35 tonnes, had begun in 2019.

Its unveiling was streamed live at 12 jyotirlingas, four mutts or monasteries established by the eighth century seer, his birth place and a number of prominent temples across the country.

The prime minister sat in meditation at the foot of the statue for a while before taking a walk around Kedarpuri to review the reconstruction work carried out over the last few years.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami and Governor Lt Gen Gurmit Singh (retd) were also in Kedarnath along with the PM, whose visit came a day ahead of the Himalayan temple’s closure for winter on Saturday.

Modi was received at the Dehradun airport in the morning by the governor and the chief minister and his cabinet colleagues Subodh Uniyal and Ganesh Joshi, besides Assembly Speaker Premchand Aggarwal.

Kedarpuri reconstruction is considered the prime minister’s dream project whose progress is reviewed personally by him at regular intervals.