“Major works” which had to be completed this year for conservation of the Kedarnath temple complex is expected to be finished by October 20 depending on the “weather conditions and time available”, the Culture Ministry said on Friday.
The ministry said the conservation of the temple complex, devastated during a major calamity last year, has been entrusted to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and the work is “progressing at a fast pace.”
The major works to be accomplished this year include packing the stones (matching the original profile and design) and providing wooden flooring within the Mandapa inside the temple.
It also includes cleaning of the interior and exterior of the temple and preserving its stone surfaces, repairs of the temple steps and stone plinth, including resetting wherever necessary and repairs to the roof over the Mandapa of the temple.
“Despite a slight delay in starting the working this season due to inclement working conditions, conservation of the temple complex is now progressing at a fast pace,” the release said.
The ministry statement said that despite the bad weather, the ASI team has so far managed to remove nearly 10,417 cu.ft (approx..295 Cu.M) debris from western side (up to a height of 7 feet).
More than 40 original architectural members of the temple, some of them carved, have been retrieved from different parts of the Kedarnath settlement. These original members will be reused during the restoration of the temple complex, it added.
The entire conservation project has been conceived in close cooperation of the Badrinath Kedarnath Temple Committee (BTKC), the district administration and in collaboration with IIT, Chennai, which has been entrusted with the task of structural assessment of the temple and its foundation.
While 25 stone dressers have been brought from Rajasthan for cutting and carving locally available gneiss stone to size, a systematic scanning of roof joints will be conducted to plug all holes and loose joints to stop leakages.
“Scientific cleaning has revealed 16 nos. donatory inscriptions that have been inscribed on walls and columns inside the temple,” the statement said.