The rain that had started on Friday, 21 September, continued till Sunday evening. My trip to Manali was ruined as the area had received continuous rains for two days. I got to know on Sunday evening that most of the buses from Manali to the neighbouring states were cancelled as the Beas river was flowing beyond its safety line.
North India, including Himachal Pradesh, received heavy rains last week from Friday with Beas and Parvati flowing above the danger line.
I took a local bus from Manali to Kullu so that I could reach my destination before it’s too late. But the situation was even worse than what I had predicted.
The authorities had shut down the road from Kullu to Mandi, which was the only route for us to move back. I, along with around 200 other tourists, was stranded for around 20 hours between Kullu and Mandi. It was only after a day that the authorities decided to use the alternate Bajura-Mandi Road to evacuate people. Naturally, passengers panicked once WhatsApp messages and videos were forwarded showing the damage to the route.
It continued to rain on Monday. The alternate Bajura-Mandi route was even more dangerous. As we proceeded, we witnessed three landslides. Passengers themselves got down to remove a tree trunk blocking the road to make way for their bus.
Finally, with mixed emotions, I reached Delhi after 40 hours.
(Majid Alam is a freelance journalist and tweets @iammajidalam)
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