Describing the Kedarnath temple as an island in the aftermath of floods in its report,an Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) team has confirmed that the temple has suffered damages. The three-member team that visited Kedarnath on July 11 sent its preliminary report to DG,ASI,on Tuesday.
The team comprised two assistant superintending archaeologists,R K Singh and M K Joshi,and draftsman Y S Nayal. They were taken in a helicopter to a point 1.5 km away from the temple. They waded through three streams and boulders to reach the temple.
Due to natural disaster,damages have been noticed mainly near the eastern and western gate of Mandapa and steps leading to it,northeast corner of Garbhagriha and junction of Mandapa and Garbhagribha, an ASI source quoted from the report.
The team also noticed several cracks in the temple structure. But due to heaps of silt and debris on the temple premises,the team could not check for other damages. They described the temple premises and its surroundings as full of moraines (glacial debris),boulders and debris of collapsed modern buildings.
The moraine deposits are 2 ft to 5-ft high and the boulders are 10ft to 30-ft long. There was an Ishaneshwar temple on the northeast corner of the temple plinth. It has been completely washed away, the ASI source said.
Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna has already said that the government would engage the ASI to conserve the temple that is not yet in the category of protected monuments. The temple is considered to be built in 5-6 AD.
In 2004,the ASI had made a move to declare the temple as protected but the Badrinath Kedarnath Temple Committee failed give its consent. Sources said an ASI team had visited the temple in October 2012 and suggested ways to conserve it. Atul Bhargava,superintending archeologist,ASI,Dehradun circle,said another ASI team would soon visit the temple to prepare an estimate for its conservation and maintenance.