Uttarakhand: Pilgrim clung to bell at Kedarnath temple for nine hours, claims family

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Uttarakhand: Pilgrim clung to bell at Kedarnath temple for nine hours, claims family
Dehradun:  Vijender Singh Negi was in the Kedarnath temple when a wall of water surged through the shrine and boulders the size of cars railed against the walls.

The 36-year-old says he spent nine hours hanging from the main bell of the 1000-year-old temple that's dedicated to Lord Shiva, high in the Garhwal Himalayas.

"He stood hanging from the temple bell from 7 am to 4 pm, the day after the disaster struck. He stood on corpses to balance himself. His clothes had been torn to pieces by the water's fury," his brother-in-law, Ganga Singh Bhandari told the Press Trust of India.

Mr Negi, after surviving his ordeal in the temple, then allegedly waited in the forests nearby till a military helicopter arrived and rescued him.

Mr Negi was staying with his family at one of the recently-constructed hotels near the temple when the rains arrived with relentless force last weekend.  His brother-in-law said that as the hotel tumbled down, Mr Negi leapt out.

"He jumped from the roof of our three-storeyed hotel into the water, before finding shelter in the temple," he said.

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