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Official says Kedarnath shrine safe

Dehradun, June 20, 2013, Agencies: 1:46 IST
Former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhariyal interacting with pilgrims near flood-hit Kedarnath shrine in Rudraprayag on Thursday. PTI Photo
The ancient Kedarnath shrine has survived the devastating floods in Uttarakhand but virtually everything around it has been destroyed, an official of the temple committee said on Thursday.

“Call it a miracle but the Nandi statue and the other idols in the temple are intact,” the official said. “In fact, those pilgrims who were in the temple during the tragedy also survived.

“But the destruction all around the temple has been terrible,” said the official, adding that the real death toll in the floods and cloudburst of the weekend would be much more than the officially stated 150. But he admitted that the temple had suffered some damage.
The official said there was no trace of a large number of pilgrims who were either headed to or returning from the shrine, built by Adi Shankara around 1,000 years ago.

He said Ram Bada, located about seven kilometres from the temple, had been destroyed. So was the case with Gaurikund where there was a parking lot and a rest house.

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