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The Kedarnath temple survived the 2013 floods because it is built in a north-south direction.

Prominence is not given to any particular reason as to why the temple withstood the 2013 floods because multiple factors have been cited.

Prominence is not given to any particular reason as to why the temple withstood the 2013 floods because multiple factors have been cited.Every time the Kedarnath temple is opened up to the public, old reports about the place and floods in the locality, alongside other events, gain traction via social media posts. Similarly, when the temple was reopened after a long closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, posts claiming that the temple survived the 2013 floods because it was built in a north-south direction are circulating online. It is located in the Garhwal Himalayan range near the Mandakini river in Uttarakhand. It reopened for pilgrims on May 6, 2022, and will only be open till November 6, 2022. The town remains closed to pilgrims in winter due to snowfall. However, the survival of the temple after heavy floods cannot be attributed to just one factor, such as its direction.

There are several other factors affecting why or how the Kedarnath shrine withstood the floods. In 2013, the region suffered a destructive disaster, with heavy rainfall and cloudburst that resulted in a massive flood and landslides. According to the Shri Kedarnath Utthan Charitable Trust, the buildings “are largely oriented north to south, and parallel to the flow of the river to cause minimum obstruction to the river water in case of a flood."

According to the Kedarnath Temple informational website, a huge rock became stuck behind the temple, now known as the "Bhim Shila," which became a barrier to the temple. It adds that the rock blocked water from getting inside the temple and diverted the route of the flood. The Condé Nast Traveler, a luxury travel magazine, wrote that the temple has survived heavy snowfalls for around 400 years and has escaped any serious damage from glacial movement. Further, the article states that researchers believe the temple designers kept natural disasters in mind when planning. The designers also considered the future and maintained the terrain with the structure of the formation of snow and glaciers. They ensured the design was strong enough to withstand any disaster.

The temple is built of extremely large but evenly shaped gray stone slabs. A conical rock formation inside the temple is worshipped as Lord Shiva in his "Sadashiva" form, notes the Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board. The Times of India reported in 2013 that the Kedarnath temple committee said, “Call it a miracle but the Nandi statue and the other idols in the temple are intact.” The 2013 floods are not entirely justified as a natural disaster, as human activities were a major contributer. As multiple official sources have cited different reasons for the temple’s survival, we mark this claim unverifiable.

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