S. Harpal Singh
Traffic on highway held up as Penganga overflows
ADILABAD: Over 190 Buddhist pilgrims from Sri Lanka bound for Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh were stranded near Adilabad town over the weekend as traffic on National Highway 7 was held up with the Penganga overflowing the high bridge on the Andhra Pradesh-Maharashtra border. Over 90 of them belong to Suraj Charika and another 100 to Sri Jaya groups and hail from Kalutara district in south Sri Lanka.
After landing in Chennai on August 3, they hired private buses to visit Varanasi, Bodh Gaya, Agra and Nepal for a month's tour of India. Due to heavy rainfall in the region which caused traffic disruption, they lost three precious days of their itinerary.
The pilgrims spent the nights in the buses, had to make do with fewer toilets than needed at the roadside motel.
The Sri Lankans were not worried about food either because of similarity in food habits. "We are eating rice and curry here as we did back home. If only we were allowed to cook our own food," said one pilgrim.