Kathmandu, July 7: On a request from an Indian holy man, a Hindu shrine in Nepal has started prayers and rituals which were being carried out at Kedarnath temple in the Indian state of Uttarakhand before it was damaged in floods, an official said here.
Secretary at Nepal’s Prime Minister Office, Krishna Hari Baskota, declared the resumption of the puja Saturday at Kedarnath Shir Doleshwar Mahadev, a temple built some 1,000 years ago and believed to be linked to the epic Mahabharata.
“The head priest of Kedarnath asked us to resume puja with same rituals and functions that were halted in Kedarnath following the recent floods,” said Bharat Jangam, member of the management committee of the temple at Bhaktapur, 15 km from capital Kathmandu.
As it will take another three years to restore the Kedarnath temple, the head of the Kedarnath temple wanted their shrine’s prayers to continue at Kedarnath Shir Doleshwar Mahadev uninterrupted till resumption of rituals at the Indian shrine, Jangam said.
The first puja, which began Saturday amid a special function, was supported by the Nepal government.
Baskota said the government will extend all necessary help and support to the temple.
As soon as the request came, the government of Nepal instructed the local management committee of the Bhaktapur temple to come out with a detailed plan on how to preserve the sanctity of the temple, improve road access, protect the forest around the temple, safeguard the shrine from floods and landslides and preserve the archaeology.
Baskota said it will take NRs.70 million (over $726,000) for constructing dharmashalas and office.
In August 2009, the Kedarnath Shir Doleshwar Mahadev temple was declared as head (Shir) of the Kedarnath temple on the recommendation of Jagatguru Bhima Shanker Linga Shivaacharya Mahaswami.