World’s highest Shiva shrine at Tungnath temple is tilting by 6 - 1 0 degrees every year: ASI

The Tungnath mountains form the Mandakini and Alaknanda river valleys.

It is located at an altitude of 3,690 m (12,106 ft), and just below the peak of Chandrashila.

About the findings:

A study conducted by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has found that the Tungnath temple, which faces north and is located at an altitude of 12,800 feet in Rudraprayag district of Garhwal Himalayas, is tilting by around five to six degrees and the smaller structures in the complex by 10 degrees.

Words from ASI officials:

ASI officials told that they have apprised the central government about the findings and suggested that the shrine be included as a protected monument. “Following this,” an official said on Tuesday, “the government has started the process of declaring it as a monument of national importance and issued a notification seeking objections from the public as a matter of procedure”. The ASI will find the root cause of the damage in case it can be repaired immediately

Words from Manoj Kumar Saxena:

Manoj Kumar Saxena, superintending archaeologist of ASI’s Dehradun circle, said, “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.”

ASI officials have not ruled out the possibility of subsidence either, owing to which the alignment of the temple may shift. They said that if needed the damaged foundation stone will be replaced after consultations with experts. For now, the agency has fixed glass scales – that can measure the movement – on the walls of the main temple.

Tungnath is regarded as the world’s highest Shiva temple, built by the Katyuri rulers in the 8th century. It is under the administration of the Badri Kedar Temple Committee (BKTC). “A letter has also been sent to BKTC in this regard. However, we are yet to receive a response,” Saxena said.

Words from Ajendra Ajay:

BKTC president Ajendra Ajay told, “The matter was recently discussed in a board meeting where all the stakeholders rejected ASI’s proposition. We are ready to take their assistance in restoring the temple to its original form but without handing it over to them. We will inform them about our decision soon.”


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