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Opinion

Uttarakhand asked to explain the delay in the restoration of Adi Shankaracharya’s Kedarnath Samadhi

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On Wednesday, the Uttarakhand High Court issued a proven cause to the state government asking why contempt proceedings should not be brought against him for breach of his October 2018 order for the restoration of the Adi Shankaracharya samadhi near the temple of Kedarnath, a year from now.

The samadhi was damaged in the Kedarnath tragedy in 2013. The court has requested a response from the state government within two weeks.

The case was heard by the division court of the interim court president Ravi Vijaykumar Malimath and judge Manoj Kumar Tiwari.

Ajay Gautam, a Delhi-based activist, who appeared in person on the matter, said that in October 2018, HC had ordered the state government to restore Adi Shankaracharya’s samadhi in one year.

“As the restoration of samadhi has not yet been completed, I filed a request in court regarding it in November this year. Upon hearing the matter, the court has issued a show of cause to the state government and ordered it to present its response within two weeks on the matter, ”he said.

Kerala-born Adi Shankaracharya was an 8th century Indian spiritual leader who consolidated the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta and made a significant contribution in the unification of Hinduism by establishing four mathas (monastic institutions) throughout India.

Uttarakhand Himalayas is very important in the context of Adi Shankaracharya, as it is believed that he took samadhi here at Kedarnath. He also established one of the four mathas at Joshimath and installed the idol at Badrinath.

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In disposing of the PIL in October 2018, the court ordered that “the State must restore the Samadhi of Adi Shankaracharya Ji in a positive way over a period of one year … in Kedarnath.

He also directed the district administration to ensure that the traditional architecture of the local hills is taken into account when repairing / restoring the Adi Shankaracharya samadhi and also to ensure that the architecture blends with the surrounding landscape.

In explaining the importance of the Shankaracharya and his samadhi in the state, HC had noted that he retired to the Himalayas at the young age of 32 and entered a cave near Kedarnath.

“Kedarnath is a Hindu pilgrimage site in Uttarakhand. The Samadhi of Adi Shankaracharya was built near the Kedarnath temple. Samadhi was also venerated by pilgrims visiting Kedarnath. Adi Shankaracharya Ji’s Samadhi was washed away by the Kedarnath tragedy in June 2013. Since then, it has not been repaired. It is in these circumstances that the present brief of demand has been presented ”, the order had observed.

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