Around 200 Indian pilgrims stranded in Simikot

Kathmandu, August 5

Around 200 Indian pilgrims on their way to Kailash Mansarovar and back have been stranded in Simikot, Humla, after commercial flights could not operate due to bad weather.

The situation, however, is under control and all the pilgrims will be evacuated as soon as the weather clears up, according to Roshan Lepcha, spokesperson for the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu.

“The embassy is aware that about 200 pilgrims are stuck in Simikot, Humla, due to bad weather and are in continual touch with them and their family members,” the embassy tweeted, adding that Embassy representatives in Kathmandu are taking all necessary action for the pilgrims’ well-being.

The incident has occured a month after more than 1,500 Indian tourists got stuck at various places on their way to Kailash Mansarovar and back.

Following the incident, the Indian government on July 5 had issued an advisory on travel to Kailash Mansarovar through the Nepal route.

The advisory is still in effect, according to Lepcha.

The advisory had stated that Simikot and Hilsa are places lacking 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 air (small aircraft or helicopters).

There is no other way to travel in and out of these places.

Further, these small aircraft or helicopters can operate only when the weather is absolutely clear, as the terrain and route is extremely dangerous.

Thus, in case of bad weather, there are high chances of pilgrims getting stranded in various legs of the pilgrimage, reads the advisory.