Authorities in northern India are conducting mass cremations of hundreds of people who were killed by devastating floods and landslides that struck nearly two weeks ago.

Army helicopters flew Hindu priests to the worst-hit town of Kedarnath in Uttarakhand state to conduct funeral prayers on Thursday before the cremations of nearly 300 bodies that were found buried in silt near the town's main temple.

State government spokesman Amit Chandola said authorities earlier airlifted tons of logs for the cremations, but the funerals were delayed by intermittent rain.

The state's chief minister has said the death toll will exceed 1,000.

Police say more than 500 people have been reported missing.