- No screams: Indrajit Pathak, 85, was about to reach the Kedarnath shrine when he was caught in a rumble of stones and water. “Not a scream was heard!” he says. “Just the fury of water.”
- 8 thousand people (and counting) have been rescued by defence forces choppers
Pilgrimages are difficult journeys. They are meant to be. A relinquishing of life’s comforts is part of the idea. A 19th century picture of Kedarnath from the archives of the Geological Survey of India shows the temple stand tall amidst a landscape of nothing but imposing mountains. Mystics and wanderers have spoken of streams of consciousness and energy flowing in such places. With no distraction, just the vastness of nature all around, the pilgrim finds a sense of penance and, sometimes, his sense of self. Over the years, such journeys have become easier, with better transport and connectivity. Kedarnath is no exception. But still, not all difficulties have been eliminated. People come from everywhere, and every hardship, every stiff joint finds itself alive, exhilarating with joy.