DEHRADUN: Chief priest of Kedarnath temple, who is presently stranded in Nanded district in Maharashtra, has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking help to reach the shrine before its portals are opened on April 29 morning.
According to a centuries-old tradition established at the time of Adi Shankaracharya, the head priest has to be present when the deity is brought in procession to the temple from Ukhimath when the portals are opened in summers.
The chief priest (Rawal) has sought special permission to travel by road along with his retinue and also bring the sacred gold crown of the deity which is to be kept in the main temple in Kedarnath when the shrine reopens.
"I am expecting for permission for travelling from Nanded to Ukhimath. I hope the permission will be granted soon," said Bhimashankar Ling, the chief priest.
Apart from the chief priest, four other staff of the temple shrine is stuck with him too.
The state government of Uttarakhand is already mulling an option of airlifting the chief priest along with four others who are stranded there.
Meanwhile, the state government has decided to conduct online darshan and not allow pilgrims to visit the four Char Dham shrines.
Earlier, Uttarakhand state tourism minister Satpal Maharaj said that the portals of the Char Dham shrines - Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri - will open as scheduled on April 26, 29 and 30.