The vibrant activities of the reconstruction team keeps the holy township Kedarnath alive in winters. This is the fourth winter, which the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering (NIM) team, is spending in Kedarnath, located in district Ruderprayag. Prior to 2013, the pilgrimage centres used to become completely deserted due to heavy snowfall and extremely cold conditions.
This year too the Kedarnath shine was closed for winter break on 1 November. Once the Hindu shrine was closed and the tourism season came to a halt, all the stake holders packed their belongings to return to their native villages/towns. With no tourists visiting the holy township, there was no point in staying there. Only the reconstruction team is staying there.
The NIM’s reconstruction work is presently doing interior works on building of the priests. Fixing door, window panels, etc. Besides this the repair work of the trek route near Lamchuli is also underway. The holy township, located at an received the first snowfall of the season on Sunday.
NIM’s coordinator Devendra Singh Bisht, says, “The maximum temperature touched 8 degree and minus dips below minus five degree in Kedarnath these days. Snowfall took place in Kedarnath on Sunday to drop the temperature further. The most pleasant time of the day is from 1-2 P.M, when the temperature touches 8 degree mark.”
The 21 km long trek to Kedarnath, starting from Gaurikund, remains alive with the movement of the mules- carrying reconstruction material, ration and other items. The reconstruction team is using services of over 150 mules for induction.
Due to cold weather the cement related works have been abandoned in Kedarnath. Keeping the track operational, conducting other works which can be done even in harsh climatic conditions keeps reconstruction work going at Kedarnath.
In June 2013, Kedarnath became an epi-center of a devastating flash-flood in which over ten thousand pilgrims lost their lives. Thousand of pilgrims were evacuated by India Army and India Air Force from disaster hit valley. The Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, India's pioneering mountaineering institute with its headquarters in Uttarkashi, is involved in reconstruction work in flash-flood ravaged holy township, located at the altitude of of 11,755 feet above sea level. Annually thousand of pilgrims from different parts of India visit the Hindu shrine to pay their respect to Lord Shiva.