Conservation Work of Shri Kedarnath Temple

After the flashfloods of 16 – 17 June, 2013, that destroyed much of Sri Kedarnath Dham, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) was requested to undertake the restoration of Sri Kedarnath temple and its immediate environs. Accordingly, conservation work of Shri Kedarnath Temple has been taken up by ASI for structural conservation as well as chemical preservation since second week of October, 2013, after finalisation of detailed estimates. Before that also some work of cleaning and chemical preservation was attended by the Science Branch of ASI and estampages of inscriptions were taken by Epigraphy Branch, Mysore, for their decipherment.

In Phase I, so far, part removal of debris deposited on the southern, western and eastern side have been attended. Nearly 489 cu.m of debris deposit has been removed from the plinth and approximately 635 Sq.m area of plinth has been cleared. The necessary stone packing to the damaged portions of the temple walls has been done. The replacement of damaged wooden door on the western side of the temple has been completed. The cleaning of Garbha Griha walls has been done up to about nine feet height. The total station survey plan of about 50 X 50 meters of the temple site is under preparation by the ASI survey team for which field data has been collected. The Geological Survey of India (GSI) team has also done necessary GPR survey of the site to study anomalies beneath the ground and to check the health / status of the foundation.

The ASI team executed the work at site, despite difficult working conditions compounded due to harsh weather conditions and snow fall. The structural conservation as well as chemical preservation work has been stopped since 02 November, 2013 due to snow fall and severe winter conditions at the site and ASI team has returned from the temple site. Also, it is not possible to work at site as temple gates close for worship on 05 November, 2013. The work will be resumed after the winter season in the next year in consultation with the Badrinath-Kedarnath Temple Committee (BKTC). Necessary material, tools and equipment will be purchased for the commencement of conservation works next year.

Phase II of conservation works will include repairs to the plinth of the temple, filling up of missing stones, after duly carving and matching original stone, on facades of the temple, cleaning of the entire interior of the temple, removing marble flooring and providing deodar wooden flooring inside Garbha-griha and Antrala of the temple. Also a detailed proposal for the improvement of environs around the temple will be prepared and submitted through the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, to the State Government and Badrinath-Kedarnath Temple Committee (BKTC) for their approval.

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