Sunday 8 January 2017

Shankaracharyas Never Wanted Lakhs of People Flocking Shrines in Uttarakhand!

Written by Anil Singh

We often hear reports about receding (in Hindi, "Peechhe Hatna") Himalayan Glaciers in Uttarakhand. What these research backed studies are telling us is simple: Gangotri or Yamnotri Glaciers (in Hindi, "Himnad") and other glaciers were closer to us 30 years ago, than they are today. The glaciers have shortened considerably and you will have to climb more up the mountains to reach them.

It's easy to blame the receding glaciers to Global warming. The blame is not wrong. As Global warming is one of the key factors. But we humans, the people of Uttarakhand and the people of the country have contributed a lot to this global warming and other factors which lead to ecological imbalance.

The heights up to which people and vehicles are reaching the Himalayan Mountains today, on the name of faith, tourism, adventure or site seeing, is unprecedented. The Himalayan mountains are not made to sustain that much crowd. It's not a comment on peoples' faith, but it's important to understand that when the Shankaracharyas, the Hindu Religious leaders of old times built these shrines on the periphery of snowline, they didn't have a clue that one day so many people will be flocking these shrines not only in their vehicles but also round the year. In addition they wanted the devotees to go through an arduous journey to reach the shrines.

Hence today is the right time to relocate the shrines to lower heights. Else the glaciers making some of the biggest perennial rivers of the country will simply die down. Nothing will be more unfortunate than that. Taking trains or creating all weather roads up to snowline is a sure sign of disaster.

Many among us will disagree with the above assessment. They may try to argue on the name of faith or development. But like it or not, winning argument is not the goal here. The situation is indeed bleak. Hence there's a need to devise better development models.

To conclude, let I share with you a recent study from USA. It will help us see the Himalayan ecosystem in Uttarakhand in a broader canvas.

According to a new study documenting mortality of yellow cedar trees (Devdar specie) in Alaska region of USA and British Columbia, the future is gloomy for the species. Lead author Brian Buma of the University of Alaska Southeast, the study recorded death due to root freeze on 7 percent of the tree’s range. Researchers say additional death is likely over the next 50 years as the climate warms. The reason being cited is the lack of an insulating blanket of snow, resulting in freezing of the soil deeper down, killing yellow cedar’s shallow roots.

The study says that although the cedar tress will adjust themselves to more rainfall situations, the study does note the vanishing snow blanket.


0 constructive comments: