It was harrowing,the four days in the forests of Kedar valley. It chills them to even recollect what they went through.
There was no one around to help and this group of pilgrims couldnt keep going because the bushes and thorns of the forest they were forced into after floods ravaged Kedarnath,Rambada and Gaurikund had left their feet and legs swollen and bleeding. Then the army came and airlifted them to Gauchar.
In this group of 19 was Sitadeva Maa,67,of Devarpalli village in Andhra Pradesh,who watched fellow pilgrim Nagaratama perish on the evening of June 16. The rain forced us to climb a hill. But then rocks started falling down, Maa said.
Chhaya Jat of Madhya Pradeshs Jabalpur is all of 15 years and the experience has left her scarred. My legs were swollen after climbing one mountain after another through incessant rain, she said. So much so,she said,that her mother had to pay Rs 15,000 to a local villager to carry her to Gaurikund. I couldnt walk. We saw a villager and he asked for Rs 15,000 to carrying me on his back from that place to Gaurikund, she said.