The Archaeological Survey of India will soon be sending a five-member team of scientists, archaeologists and engineers to Kedarnath to commence conservation work at the ancient Kedarnath Temple, which was damaged during the recent flash floods in Uttarakhand.

“The team will be leaving for Kedarnath within a week’s time. Since not too many days are left in this season, the team will only be doing peripheral work like consolidating loose stones. But, we will have to ensure that there are proper replacements for stones which are missing due to the flash floods and incessant rain. Stones will have to be selected keeping in mind the history and archaeology of Kedarnath Temple,” said a senior official.

The ASI official said extensive research will be undertaken next year since the temple attracts not only innumerable pilgrims from within the country but also from abroad.

“Foreign tourists from far-off countries visit the temple, which is also significant from the mythological point of view. Research would be done in a meticulous manner in 2014.”

Restoration plan

The official estimated that an expenditure of Rs. 2.40 crore will be incurred on Phase I of the project. The official said: “We [ASI] will do the entire work on our own.”

On August 2, ASI had sent a team along with members of the Geological Survey of India and Engineering Projects India Ltd. to Kedarnath to assess the damage to the temple, which is located on the banks of the Mandakini.

Preliminary reports indicate that the temple’s overall structure is fairly conserved. But portions of the temple on its northern, western and eastern sides have indicated a moderate impact from the floods and boulder movement.

The temple structure was saved primarily due to a large boulder onits northern side, which deflected water and debris.

For Phase I of the restoration programme, ASI will submit an action plan by Monday and begin the work after Wednesday.