Shimla: Four pilgrims including one from Maharashtra died due to health problems and high-altitude sickness in the last leg of the Srikhand yatra, which was suspended due to bad weather and rains, officials said.
"Four pilgrims including Padma Devi from Maharashtra died due to breathlessness and blood pressure and the yatra has been suspended due to continued bad weather and rains that increased the risk", Kullu Deputy commissioner, Rakesh Kanwar told PTI.
The deaths took place between Parbati Bagicha and Srikhand in the last leg of the yatra at an altitude of over 16,000 feet.
The search parties have located the bodies of all the victims, which are being brought to the roadhead at Nirmand.
The other victims were identified as Asha Devi of village Keo in Rampur, Yudhister from Shahdhar in Rampur and Saurabh Kapoor, Devnagar in Shimla.
The SDM, Ani, Neeraj said the deceased were medically examined before setting out for the yatra, but due to sudden drop in temperature following rains in snow, the conditions became predisposed for ailments like high blood pressure and breathlessness.
The district administration has suspended the yarta as continued rains have heightened the risk and 2000 registered yatris would have to wait till the weather clears.
About 600 pilgrims set out for the yatra every day, and efforts are on to bring back 152 pilgrims stuck enroute, while about 350 pilgrims have reached the base camp at Singhghar. 250 pilgrims are at Thachru, while 15 are struck at Bhim Dwar, officials said.
Till now about 3,400 pilgrims have undertaken the yatra and 2,500 more persons have registered for the yatra, which began on July 15.
The 70 km-long trek passes through?dense forests, streams, sprawling meadows and lofty mountains and some stretches are treacherous.