171 Mansarovar pilgrims reach Bengaluru

Mysuru: As many as 171 Kailash Mansarovar pilgrims from the state, who got stranded due to inclement weather, have returned to Bengaluru on Thursday evening.

They were among the 217 pilgrims from the state who had availed the services of Shankara Yatra travel agency. They got stranded at Simikot and Hilsa in Nepal, due to inclement weather.

“Eighteen people are still stranded in Hilsa and 42 are in Simikot. They are likely to be moved to Nepalganj by Friday,” the Shankar Yatra sources said.

However the whereabouts of the stranded couple from Mysuru, Manjegowda (60), a retired KSRTC bus conductor and his wife Chandrakala (56), is still unclear.

While their son Gurudutt in Mysuru claimed that his parents had reached Nepalganj on Wednesday, Shankara Yatra sources claimed that they are still in Simikot.

In order to cross check this news paper contacted Manjegowda by sending a text message to his mobile phone. In his reply Manjegowda claimed, “We are still stranded in Simikot.  One officer by name Vivek from Indian embassy visited us on Thursday and has promised to move us to Nepalganj by Friday. My wife's health is not fine and we are not happy with the way we are being taken care.”

When this newspaper contacted Mysuru city police Commissioner Dr Subramanyeswar Rao, he assured the he would try to get in touch with Indian embassy in Nepal and do his best to help them.

Mysuru DC Abhiram B Shanakar said, “An advisory has been released from Indian embassy in Nepal, which the prospective pilgrims to Kailash Mansarovar and tour agencies hosting trips, must apprise themselves with. They should note that Simikot and Hilsa in Nepal lack medical facilities, proper boarding and lodging facilities. They should get themselves medically examined before starting the Yatra as well as carry medicines for up to one month.”

He pointed out that Simikot and Hilsa are accessible only by air (small aircrafts and helicopters) and they can operate only when the weather permits. “Thus in case of poor weather, there are chances of pilgrims getting stranded in various legs of Yatra,” he added.

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