Ajay and Haridas had to trek for 15 km before they chanced upon a school building on a hillock where they took refuge from the raging floodwaters

The duo was mobbed an embraced by family members at the Secunderabad railway station. Not surprisingly, they had hair-raising travails in Uttarakhand.

“It was a school on a hillock that saved not just us, but also the pilgrims from Nellore, Visakhapatnam and north Indian States,” Ajay recalled.

Ajay and Haridas reached Haridwar on June 16, and from there they hired a private vehicle to visit Gangotri, Yamunotri and Kedarnath. At Kedarnath they checked into a lodge located in the dense forest.

While they were taking rest in the lodge, the staff told them to immediately vacate the premises as flash floods had hit the area.

On seeing the surging waters, Ajay and Haridas scampered out of the lodge in search of a high ground.

They trekked for almost 15 km before chancing upon a school building on a hillock. “With great difficulty we managed to reach the school, and much to our surprise, pilgrims from Nellore, Visakhapatnam and other States were already there,” he said.

Help from locals

Local citizens too extended support by providing them with drinking water. Somehow they managed to reach Delhi to board the special train. Ajay also said that the pilgrims who failed to vacate the lodge on that frightful night have been missing ever since.

‘Govt. apathetic’

Pilgrims had a grouse against the Uttarakhand Government for failing to provide food and other basic amenities.

“We survived on water for four days on the hillock,” rued Krishnamurthy and Megamala, a couple from Lal Darwaza.

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