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Former Prime Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) supremo H D Deve Gowda congratulates PM Narendra Modi for his "dedication" to transform the holy site of Kedarnath after he unveiled a statue of saint Adi Shankaracharya's last week. 

In an open letter on Saturday, he said, "I am deeply moved to see the very impressive black schist statue of the great saint Sri Adi Shankaracharya being unveiled by you in Kedarnath on November 5," Gowda said in a letter to PM Modi.

"I congratulate you for the dedication you have shown to the transformation of the holy site," he added.

The JD(S) supremo said he is an ardent follower of the Sri Sringeri Sharada Peetham in Chikkamagaluru district in Karnataka, which is one of the four cardinal centres established by Adi Shankaracharya.

Recalling the 'inclusiveness' of the Sringeri Math, the former Prime Minister said Sringeri has been a spiritual counselor across the centuries to many rulers and kingdoms. 

He said the Wadiyar, the Peshwas, the Keladis, Travancore rulers, Hyder Ali, Tipu Sultan and the Nizams of Hyderabad had immensely gained from their devotion to the Math and the wise counsel it offered.

"The glorious tradition of the Math's guidance has continued to the present day. The Sringeri Math, personally for me, has been a refined symbol of inter-faith harmony," Gowda noted in the letter.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday unveiled the 12 feet tall statue on a rebuilt samadhi of Adi Shankaracharya at Kedarnath.  The 3D sculpture statue, built by artist Arun Yogiraj, took nine months of continuous work.

The Samadhi of Adi Shankaracharya has been reconstructed after its destruction in the 2013 Uttarakhand floods.

Adi Shankaracharya was born in Kerala. He was an eighth-century Indian mystic and philosopher who consolidated the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta and made a significant contribution in unifying Hinduism by setting up four "mathas" across India.

Uttarakhand holds much significance with respect to Adi Shankaracharya's life as he established one of the four mathas- Jyotir Math here in Chamoli district and also established the idol at Badrinath. He also took samadhi at Kedarnath.

(With inputs from agencies)

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