After Lockdown, Broke Tourists Spend 25 Days in Cave

They were stranded in northern India
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 21, 2020 3:26 PM CDT
After Lockdown, Broke Tourists Spend 25 Days in Cave
Rishikesh, northern India.   (Fiona Quinn)

A group of backpackers whose travel plans were thrown into disarray by India's nationwide lockdown ended up living in a cave for 25 days after running out of money, police say. The four men and two women were found in a cave near the popular tourist destination of Rishikesh in northern India, the BBC reports. Police say the travelers from the US, Ukraine, Nepal, Turkey, and France had been living in hotels and guesthouses in Rishikesh and moved to the cave because they were stranded by the lockdown and needed to save what little money they had for provisions. Transport in India has been halted since March 24 and authorities recently extended the lockdown until May 3.

Police official Rakendra Singh Kathait says locals informed police after discovering that the tourists were living in the cave. "After receiving the information, we went to the cave and found the six foreigners," he says. "They told us that they decided to move into the cave because they were running out of money. We did their medical tests and sent them to a quarantine center." He says none of the group tested positive for COVID-19. Rishikesh was made famous when the Beatles visited for several weeks in 1968. Much like the Fab Four, the stranded tourists are now staying at an ashram, the Hindu reports. With an estimated 700 other tourists stuck in Rishikesh and thousands more across the country, the Indian government has launched the Stranded in India website to assist them. (More India stories.)

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