statesman news service
Dehradun, 16 July
The Kedarnath temple has suffered massive damage in the flash floods of 15 June, stated the survey of the temple area made by the team from Archeological survey of India (ASI).
The ASI has been deputed on this task by the Union Culture Ministry. The four-member team surveyed the Kedarnath temple area and gave its report.
In its report, the team said cracks have been found on the walls of the temple and the stones of archeological importance from the north-eastern part of the temple have come out, while the entire temple area is packed with 4-6 feet high debris.
Damages have also been faced by the eastern and western parts of the temple and cracks have been observed on the walls, said the sources, adding that the main gate and stairs of the temple are also buried in the 4-5 feet debris which came gushing in the flash f
loods on the night of the disaster.
However, a big boulder which came down with the flash floods at the back of the temple
averted further damage to it. This boulder is 30 feet tall and 10 feet in width.
After the disaster in Uttarakhand, the Union culture ministry had constituted a five-member expert committee headed by ADG ASI B R Mani to ascertain the damage to the Kedarnath temple and to conserve and repair it.
The team had arrived to visit the disaster-hit temple area on 29 June but could not reach their destination because of bad weather and returned back
to Delhi empty handed. It arrived again exactly a month after the disaster and inspected the temple area to estimate the damages suffered by it.
However, work on the temple will start only after a final work plan is made by the ASI, though officials say that it is not yet sure whether repair work could be done by the them, after all, or if it would just give expert advice.
In the past, the ASI had also worked on the preservation of the famous Mahabalipuram temple after it was damaged by the tsunami. It is also preserving the Taj Mahal.
However, work on the Kedarnath temple will be the biggest challenge as the temple is situated at a height of over 11,000 feet, hence making it difficult to transport construction material, particularly when all roads leading to it are damaged.