Muri, Himachal Pradesh (eTN): Himachal Pradesh received this season’s first snowfall yesterday, but it did not bring cheer to all the tourists visiting the state. For, many of them were stranded, as snow blocked the Rohtang Pass, one of the highest motorable roads in the world.
Scores of tourists were brought to Muri located five kilometres from Rohtang, and were provided with food and shelter there.
Sunder Singh, Head of Palchan village near Muri, said that the villagers joined hands to rescue the tourists, and then provided them with whatever they required.
“SDM (Sub Divisional Magistrate) informed us that many people were stranded in Muri. I immediately got into action and I told my people and also collected some villagers and reached Muri. The people stranded in Muri were in very bad condition,” Singh said.
“Our roadside eateries in Muri and small hotels extended their full cooperation. They provided tourists with food and shelter,” he added.
Jaspreet, who was accompanied by his wife on their honeymoon trip here, said being stranded was a nightmare.
“We are stranded at the Rohthang pass since yesterday morning. We even called the police department; they listened to us but were very late. When it stated getting dark we started descending on our own. After traveling the whole night we reached this place at 9 or 10 a.m.,” he said.
According to officials, there are around 300 tourists stranded in the higher valley of the region.
Rohtang Pass is the region’s only link to the valley of Lahaul-Spiti and runs close to the India-Tibet border across dizzy Himalayan heights.
The Rohtang Pass literally means the “mound of dead,” because of its extreme conditions, which claimed innumerable lives over the years. The weather changes unpredictably, and temperatures dip as low as minus 40 degrees Celcius.