Shimla: Three pilgrims have died during the Shrikhand Mahadev Yatra in Himachal Pradesh’s district, police said on Sunday.
The three pilgrims collapsed while coming back to the base camp in Sinhgad from the shrine after paying their obeisance, according to information.
The deceased have been identified as Upender Saini (40) of Shimla, Kewal Nand Bhagat and Atma Ram of Delhi, district Superintendent of Police Gaurav Singh said.
The exact cause of their death is yet to be ascertained and is likely to clear after conducting their post-mortem, Singh said.
A team of porters have already been sent to bring down their bodies. Their bodies will be brought down by Monday, the officer said.
Previous Incidents during the Shrikhand Yatra
On July 17, a 74-year-old man from Maharashtra died due to hypothermia, whereas five pilgrims were injured when a piece of the glacier broke off and collapsed on way to the shrine the previous day.
The ‘yatra’ to the shrine was temporarily stopped.
A number of pilgrims were stranded as the glacier collapsed at Nain Sarovar near Parvati Bagh in Ani subdivision.
Considered tougher than the Amarnath pilgrimage, the Shrikhand Mahadev yatra began on July 15.
Shrikhand Mahadev is revered by Hindus as one of the abodes of Lord Shiva. The ‘Shiva Lingam’ is situated at a height of 18,750 feet above sea level.
Pilgrims above the age of 15 years alone are allowed to the Shrikhand Mahadev Yatra. A pilgrim has to pay Rs 150 for entry. The health of every pilgrim is checked at the base camp of Singhad, and one is allowed to proceed for the journey only after he or she is declared medically fit for the penance.
Pilgrims take the route of Nirmand of Kullu district via Rampur City of Shimla. From Nirmand, they reach Bagi Pul and then Jaun. Many reach Bagi Pul by taxis or buses.
Temporary drinking water sources and Toilets facility are provided to the pilgrims all along the route. The administration has requested pilgrims to not hurry. They must carry some basic medicines, a stick each to aid in the process of climbing the mountain and warm clothes.