Friday’s landslide on the Badrinath temple route affected around 1,500 Char Dham pilgrims but no one was stranded, the Uttarakhand government clarified on Saturday.
“...There were no unfortunate incidents, 1800 tourists (against reported 15K) were affected & arrangements were made for them (sic),” chief minister Trivendra S Rawat posted on Twitter.
The state disaster management secretary, however, put the figure of affected pilgrims between 1,000 and 1,500.
Part of a huge rock rolled down the hills and blocked a key road in Chamoli district on Friday, stranding thousands of Char Dham pilgrims on their way to the Badrinath temple.
The incident occurred on one stretch of the route that connects Badrinath to Joshimath, around 300 km from state capital Dehradun. The pilgrimage was temporarily stopped and people were asked to take shelter at major pit stops, the officials said.
Chief minister Rawat said the route would be opened on Saturday as the Border Roads Organisation and other authorities were clearing the debris. Information of landslides was shared with various towns along the route which helped avoid people being stranded on the roads, he added.
- Uttarakhand government has issued helpline numbers for Char Dham pilgrims
- 0135-2559898, 2552626, 2552627, 2552628 and 1364
The ‘Char Dham yatra’ -- an annual pilgrimage to the Hindu sites at Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gamgotri and Yamunotri -- draws lakhs of people from India and Nepal to the Himalayan state every year.
However, the terrain becomes treacherous during rains.
In 2013, heavy rains triggered a deluge in the Kedarnath valley, killing around 10,000 people and leaving thousands homeless. The government still conducts searches for the missing bodies.