Former Nepalese King Gyanendra Shah paid a courtesy call on Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, who has long-standing ties with the erstwhile royal family, with aides describing it as a personal meeting.
Adityanath is also head priest of Gorakhpur’s Gorakhnath Mutt, which is revered by the former royals of Hindu-majority Nepal. The Nath sect to which Adityanath belongs has a huge following in Nepal.
Yogi Adityanath is also head priest of Gorakhpur’s Gorakhnath Mutt, which is revered by the former royals of Hindu-majority Nepal. As the Nath sect to which Adityanath belongs has a huge following in Nepal, the meeting, many consider, as a religious and spiritual.
“The two have known each other for decades and it was a personal meeting between them. The visiting dignitary is on a private visit to Lucknow,” Awanish Awasthi, UP’s principal secretary (information), told the media.
The chief minister’s office tweeted a photo of the meeting during which Adityanath is believed to have invited Gyanendra to visit the Kumbh Mela to be held in Allahabad in 2019. Adityanath presented a logo of the mela and gifted the former king a white shawl, believed to destroy all types of pain and agony, according to Hindu mythology.
Gyanendra, accompanied by his wife Komal and daughter Prerana, is staying at a hotel in Lucknow and it could not be ascertained if he would visit Gorakhpur on the occasion of Makar Sankranti on January 14.
Former Nepalese king Birendra, who was assassinated in 2001, regularly visited the Gorakhnath Mutt during the Makar Sankranti festival. In 1992, Birendra drove from Kathmandu to the Gorakhpur mutt.
The mutt is located in an area on the India-Nepal border and Adityanath commands great respect among the erstwhile Nepalese royals, who as Gorkhas trace their origins to Guru Gorakshnath, who founded the Nath monastic order in the Himalayan region,” an official said.
As Gorakhpur MP, Adityanath made occasional visits to Nepal, during which he spoke about the restoration of the country’s status as a Hindu kingdom. Gyanendra was Nepal’s last king. He stepped down in 2008 after parties voted to abolish the monarchy.