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Kedarnath Flood 2013 : Cause, Destruction & Survival

Kedarnath 2013 Flood

Kedarnath 2013 Flood

Kedarnath 2013 Flood: A Sad Phase

In 16 June 2013, Kedarnath was jolted by the catastrophe. The land which shinned with the glory of Lord Shiva was dimmed out when the tragic event of flood took place in June 2013. The religious land which was once surrounded by scenic mountains became a barren land.

What caused the Kedarnath 2013 Flood

During the month of June Uttarakhand received a huge amount of rainfall. It caused the melting of Chorabari glacier. The glacier is situated near to Kedarnath Temple. One of the glacier’s two snouts, is the source of Mandakini River. The melting of the glacier in result caused the eruption of the Mandakini River. Floods affected large part of North Himalayan state of Uttrarakhand. The worst hit was Kedarnath. The quick melting of the snow from the Kedarnath Mountain, 6 km from the temple caused a huge damage. It flooded the Chorabari Lake.

Cloudburst, landslides and snowfall were some of the natural causes of the 2013 flood. But we cannot always blame the nature. We humans are also responsible for the massive calamity. Our mismanaged tourism, unobstructed construction of hotels, lodges and road, the extensive hydroelectricity dams and mining projects in such eco fragile hilly area were some of the true causes of the flood.

Destruction caused by Kedarnath 2013 Calamity

Swarming bank of Chorabari Lake came down carrying a large amount of rocks and silts. The bank carried away homes, lives and everything that came its way. Routes and streams all were clogged with sand and rocks. Several towns and lives got engulfed in the overflowing water. Buildings and villages were drenched under several feet of mud. Over 5,000 people were dead or missing which also included pilgrims from across the globe. All you can see around was a shattered image of everything tearing down. Even after a week several dead bodies were not removed. It caused contamination of water in the Kedarnath valley. Villagers are highly dependent on spring water. They were greatly affected from various health issues like fever and diarrhea.

Rescue operation after Kedarnath 2013 destruction

The rescue projects were at full swing by the Indian Government. The team of Army, Air Force, National Disaster Relief Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and many local authorities together carried on the relief operation. Due to such extensive damage Kedarnath Temple was temporarily closed to regular pilgrims and tourists. The temple was reopened for pilgrims on Sunday, 4 May, 2014.

How Kedarnath Temple Survived

Kedarnath, the temple and town all faced the nature’s rage but the shrine survived. Only the perimeter of the temple was damaged. It is believed that a huge rock which diverted the flow to the sides of temple saved the temple from being washed away. The huge rock is now worshipped as Bheem Shila in Kedarnath. The temple still stands tall and attracts pilgrims from all around the world.

The flood could not shake the immense devotion of the pilgrims. Devotees still fearlessly take the journey to Kedarnath Dham and seek Lord Shiva’s blessings. 

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