He came from Coimbatore as part of a large happy 11-member family to holiday in Thekkady. He will go back alone. On Wednesday, the other ten members of his family drowned in Kerala's worst boat tragedy ever. Those killed included his wife and two children.
The lone survivor says: "All of us suddenly went to one side of the boat, may be the engine operator turned all of a sudden. My wife is gone, my children, my sister, her husband."
Panchalingam is now looking for the body of his two-and-a-half-year-old niece, Swatika. The only one untraced so far.