In Uttarakhand, a pilgrimage of horrors
‘Why are the old even here? Who asked them to come to a place like this? If they have no regard for their own safety, why should we care?’
Gauchar/Joshimath: On 14 June, when constable Kuldeep Singh Mehra of the Uttarakhand Armed Police reached Kedarnath, teeming crowds of pilgrims had taken up every inch of space in the temple town. The lodges were bursting, and the tide of people going up the 14km trek route—by foot, horse, mule or on the back of porters—was relentless. In season, 10,000-12,000 people visit the area every day.