Dehradun : The recent increase in service taxes in the union budget, which has made everything more costly, has also had its impact on the prayer services at the holy shrine of Kedarnath in the Himalayas.
Various prayers at the shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva are going to make a bigger hole in the pockets of the pilgrims.
According to reports the Badrinath-Kedarnath committee has decided to increase the rates of the various prayers that can be offered at the shrine from the coming season scheduled to start later this summer.
‘Sampoorna Pooja’ will now cost Rs 20,000 as against Rs 15,000 earlier; ‘Akhand Jyoti Varshik’ will also now cost Rs 20,000 as against Rs 15,000 earlier; while the ‘Maha Abhishlek’ will cost Rs 6600 against Rs 5100 earlier and the ‘Rudra Abhishek’ Rs 5300 against Rs 4100 earlier.
It is said that the Badrinath-Kedarnath Mandir Samiti Act provides that the rates for various prayers offered at the Bdrinatn and Kedarnath shrines can be increased every three years.
As the rate of the prayers at the Kedarnath shrine was increased in 2009, it was increased now. As for the prayers at the Badrinath shrines, their rates were revised two years back and as such will be hiked next year.
Justifying the increase in the prayer rates an official of the committee said that there has been an increase in the inputs to the prayers and as such the need was felt to hike the rates.