They were at Patan (a place at a lower altitude than that of Sherapatan) when they came under a spell of rains, storms and snow. The dreams to earn a little from herbs turned insignificant, life was at risk. Then they started looking for caves, if there were any. They were lucky to find a cave at Gaudhunga.
JUMLA, Dec 17: The weather was pleasant when Chhabiraj Bohora of Dhipu village, Jumla, left for Sherapatan on Thursday morning. There were 12 other locals including four women in the trip. They had headed for the high altitude land with a dream of collecting precious herbs and selling them at high prices in the market. On Friday, they were yet to reach Sherapatan when heavy snowfall chased them. The sky turned dark and i started raining. The stormy weather made them regret to have moved from home. Panicked, the men and women looked around for shelter, but to no avail. The layers of snow around, Bohora recalls, might be over six feet. "Horrible experience it was! As if we lived for many months in that cave! It was an encounter with death, which spared us!" he describes.
They were at Patan (a place at a lower altitude land than that of Sherapatan) when they came under a spell of rains, storms and snow. The dreams to earn a little from herbs turned insignificant, life was at risk. Then they started looking for caves, if there were any. They were lucky to find a cave at Gaudhunga. All the 13 people entered the cave and started praying for life.
"We thought we were going to die in the cave. There was no sign of any improvement in the the weather and we did not know how long would we be trapped inside the cave. We realized the fragility of life," Bohora said.
After staying in the cave for 72 hours, they had no more patience. They decided to leave, though the weather was not any better. "Even if we continued to live in the cave, we would have simply died. So we decided to just break free and get out then," said Bohora. "We all were badly missing our family members. What would have befallen on them, this thought made us impatient," he added.
According to another survivor Nanilal Rawat, there was no stamina to move on. But 'when you have no choice, you do it!'
"We traveled through five feet thick snow. At the edges, it was little less than that," he said.
The group then moved on, braving all odds and it took one and a half days for them to reach home. On the way, they tried making call to family members, but there was no network. Later, Nanilal could somehow contact his brother Bir Bahadur Rawat, a Nepal Army personnel, and told him that that they were returning.
After 13 people were reported missing, the local authorities had kept a helicopter ready to fly off to the location. According to Naresh Bhandari, Internal Affairs and Law Minister of Karanli Province, the helicopter was about to leave for a rescue operation.
"Their safe home-return has given all of us so much relief. We all were worried and were coordinating with the local government for the required ction. But it would be very difficult to even find the location where they had stayed as there were no communication, no network," said a local Harish Chandra Bohora. "The entire village was already in a state of panic. After they arrived, it's a kind of celebration," he added.