Over 350 pilgrims who were stranded on the Manimahesh trek in tribal Bharmour subdivision of Chamba district on Tuesday returned safely after the public works department (PWD) restored the path that was blocked by landslides on Monday.
Bharmour sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Dr Jitender Kanwar said a 2-km patch of the Manimahesh trek was damaged due to landslides between Kunhi Nullah and Dunali, around 5km from the base camp in Hadsar.
"The PWD authorities restored the trek path and the stranded pilgrims returned safely to Bharmour on Tuesday morning," he added.
It is worth mentioning that lakhs of pilgrims from northern India undertake the arduous journey to take a dip in the oval shaped, glacial-fed Manimahesh lake, located at a height of 13,500 feet in the Bharmour valley.
This year, the pilgrimage begins on September 5, on the eve of Janmashtami. However, thousands trek to the lake well before the official start of the annual pilgrimage.
Water release from Pong dam inundates villages, agri land
The Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) kept the floodgates of Pong dam open on Tuesday to release the excess water, resulting in a few downstream villages and agricultural lands getting submerged.
Kangra deputy commissioner Ritesh Chauhan said a few roads connecting some villages in Mand Miani Panchayat in Indora area and agricultural land on the banks of Beas were submerged. "But, water released from the Pong Dam is below 50,000 cusecs and is not considered flooding," Chauhan said, adding that high flooding was considered only after over 1 lakh cusecs water was released.