Indian travellers and motorists gather after a landslide blocked their route along the national highway on the outskirts of Vishuprayag on Friday in Uttarakhand. According to local media reports some 15,000 tourists are stranded after a massive landslide took place on the main Rishikesh-Badrinath Highway a popular pilgrim route to Joshimath. Pic/AFP
More than 15,000 pilgrims en route to the Badrinath shrine in Uttarakhand are reportedly stranded after a landslide blocked a highway, officials said on Friday.
A major portion of a hill collapsed on the highway near Hathipahad, blocking the road and leading to hundreds of vehicles being stuck on both sides.
Officials said the road will be cleared by Saturday afternoon.
Hathipahad has become a major trouble spot for pilgrims going to the Badrinath shrine as rains in the hilly region trigger landslides every year.
An official told IANS that as a matter of abundant precaution, vehicles on both sides have been told not to move ahead.
A major boulder has damaged about 65 meters of the road and the number of vehicles struck is said to be around 500.
Pilgrims who have reached the Badrinath shrine have been stopped there and asked not to take the return journey for the next 24 hours.
Those stranded between Hathipahad and the Badrinath shrine have been given refuge in the Govindghat Gurudwara. Officials have made arrangements for food and lodging.