Tungnath Temple, constructed by the Katyuri rulers during the 8th century, is known as the World's Highest Lord Shiva Temple. Situated in Uttarakhand's Rudraprayag district of the Garhwal Himalayas at an elevation of 12,800 feet, the temple has remarkable historical significance that makes it an important cultural and religious site for devotees and visitors alike.
According to a recent study conducted by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), there is growing concern surrounding the Tungnath Temple. The study reveals that the temple is experiencing a noticeable tilt of approximately five to six degrees and the smaller structures in the complex by 10 degrees.
"First, we will find the root cause of the damage in case it can be repaired immediately. Besides, a detailed work programme will be prepared after a thorough inspection of the shrine," Manoj Kumar Saxena, superintending archaeologist of ASI's Dehradun circle, told TOI.
The Tungnath Temple falls under the administration of the Badri Kedar Temple Committee (BKTC). According to ASI officials, both the Central government and the BKTC have been notified about the temple's condition and that it should be included as a protected monument.
"The government has initiated the process of declaring it a monument of national importance and issued a notification seeking objections from the public as a matter of procedure," an official informed TOI.
ASI has not ruled out the prospect of subsidence. The officials have said that if needed, the damaged foundation stone will be replaced only after talks with specialists.
He added, "A letter has also been sent to BKTC in this regard. However, we are yet to receive a response."
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