CHENNAI: A batch of 25 pilgrims from Tamil Nadu including nine women who went for Amarnath Yatra returned safely on Saturday night. Twelve persons were killed after a cloudburst led to flash floods near the shrine on July 8, washing away the tents nearby. Several people are still missing.
The pilgrims reached Chennai airport around 11.50 pm on Saturday. The batch had left Chennai on July 3 and reached Amarnath on July 4. According to them, the weather was optimum for the pilgrimage then. They had stayed in tents at Panchatarani camping site, 6km away from Amarnath that night and went to the Shrine on July 5.
“As we were climbing down itself, rains had started and we were not allowed to make our way back down, ” the returnees told mediapersons at the Chennai airport.
Fortunately for them, the rains stopped after four hours after which the downward trek was allowed. When they reached Panchatarani, they were airlifted in a helicopter to a safe location.
The pilgrims expressed shock that within a couple of days of them leaving Amarnath, a landslide had killed scores of people. They expressed their regards for the Indian army personnel who helped in the rescue of people.