Around 175 Indians on their way back home after the Kailash-Mansarovar pilgrimage in Tibet remained stranded in Nepal’s Humla district for the second day Monday as commercial flights could not operate due to bad weather, the Indian Embassy said. The situation, however, is under control and all the pilgrims will be evacuated as soon as the weather clears up, said Indian Embassy spokesperson Roshan Lepcha.
The embassy Sunday had estimated that there were around 200 pilgrims stuck in Humla’s Simikot due to bad weather. Heavy rains in central and western Nepal for the past three days have forced domestic airlines to suspend their regular flights.
There is basic lodging and food facilities for round 500 tourists in Simikot area. In case of emergency, the Indian Embassy could safely evacuate the stranded pilgrims, sources said. Last month, more than 1,500 Indians were stranded at various places in Nepal on their way to Kailash Mansarovar and back.
Following the incident, the Indian government on July 5 had issued an advisory for travel to Kailash Mansarovar through the Nepal route. The advisory is still in effect, according to Indian Embassy sources.
The advisory had stated that Simikot and Hilsa lack good medical and lodging facilities and therefore, pilgrims should get themselves medically examined before starting their pilgrimage and also carry medicines for up to a period of one month.
Simikot and Hilsa are connected to the rest of the world only by small aircraft or helicopters and there is no other way to travel in and out of these places. These small aircraft or helicopters can operate only when the weather is absolutely clear, as the terrain and route is extremely dangerous.
The embassy has deputed its representatives at Hilsa, Simikot and Humla for monitoring and taking action in case of emergency.