Nearly 500 tourists and pilgrims returning from the Sindhu Darshan festival in Leh were stranded at the Baralacha Pass, following a massive landslide on the Keylong-Leh road on Tuesday evening. A large number of tourists traveling on the Manali-Leh road were also stranded on the Leh side, besides the hundreds of pilgrims who could not cross the Baralacha Pass after the landslide. The pilgrims were supposed to reach Keylong after crossing the snow-covered Baralacha Pass which is at a height of 16,040 feet.
Tourists, including foreigners, from Manali and Keylong were also stopped near Darcha on the Himachal Pradesh side following reports of the landslide. Himachal Pradesh Chief secretary V C Pharka, confirming the landslide, said that the Border Roads Organisation has been clearing the debris to open the road for traffic.
“I think by evening the road will be cleared. Meanwhile , DC Lahual-Spiti, has also been told to ensure that tourists stranded on the road should be provided basic necessities including food and water,” Pharka said. Sindhu Darshan festival is a celebration of River Sindhu, which is seen as icon of communal harmony and unity in India. The festival began in 1997.