The northern state of Uttarkahand in India is experiencing the worst early flash floods. This is quite an unheard of phenomena in this period of the year, as usually monsoons start from June 15, and floods are expected in later parts of the year. All measures are being taken by the State government to rescue tourists who are stranded in the higher reaches due to the ongoing Char Dham, trekking, hiking, etc.
Tornos tour company is providing free shared transport out of Haridwar, that helps tourists to reach Delhi and continue with their further program. Tornos has tied up with a few basic hotels to provide overnight halts free of cost in Haridwar to all tourists who have been evacuated or are stranded in Haridwar, though this is only an overnight facility by Tornos. They have also arranged a private helicopter to get tourists from Kedarnath, Gangotri & Govind Ghat. This facility is being extended free of cost for all tourists in the region.
It is recommended that all upcoming trips to Haridwar/Rishikesh/Dehradun be canceled until the situation gets a bit comfortable. The Road from Haridwar to Rishikesh is shut due to the flash floods and all city tours, and the aarti ceremony is suspended until further notice.
The famous Kedarnath shrine was virtually submerged in mud and slush where 50 people died in the unprecedented flash floods that claimed over 130 lives in Uttarkhand and Himachal Pradesh and left over 70,000 pilgrims heading for Himalayan shrines stranded. The shrine, one of the four holy dhams, in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand bore the brunt of torrential rains. About 500 people, including several pilgrims, are said to be missing in the area. Kukhimath Sub Divisional Magistrate Rakesh Tewari told reporters after his return from Kedarnarth that 50 bodies are lying in areas adjacent to the shrine.
The torrential rains has not only affected the holy sites, but most of the north India. Most flights out of New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International airport are cancelled and the airport is flooded as well.