press trust of india
NEW DELHI, 27 JUNE: With the Kedarnath temple premises in Uttarakhand cleared of all dead bodies, shrine authorities are preparing to clean the area and conduct sanctification process, hoping to resume formal pujas after about two weeks.
Kedarnath bore the brunt of the floods and landslides triggered by the deluge in the hill state on 16 June, although the temple, stated to have been built in the 8th century, and the Shivling are safe.
A 10-member team of temple committee members will reach Kedarnath tomorrow to clean the premises after which sanctification and formal pujas will be performed. “The formal puja under the guidance of priests has not begun as of now. We have to clean the debris first and for that, the temple committee is sending a new 10-member team, led by Mr Anil Sharma, executive officer Kedarnath, tomorrow by helicopter,” Mr Ganesh Godiyal, president of the Badrinath Kedarnath temple committee and an MLA from Srinagar, told PTI today over the phone from his constituency. Mr Godiyal, who will be reaching the shrine on Saturday, said all the dead bodies have been removed from the temple premises. He also said that many of the temple staff members have gone missing since the tragedy and therefore a new team had to be constituted. “Many of our staff members are missing since the calamity and we have formed a new team now that includes executive officers and temple engineers,” he added.
When asked about media reports that pujas have resumed at the temple, he clarified it is not the formal ritual. “No puja is being performed in the presence of temple priests. People who survived after the disaster are just offering flowers…and incense sticks,” he said. Bagesh Ling, the head priest at Kedarnath, said that no puja can be performed before sanctification of the temple. “Sanctification is a must as we have seen dead bodies lying in the temple premises. No puja can be performed before it.