A 24-year-old Israeli tourist has been missing for almost a week after going off by himself on a one-day hike in northern India.
The man, whose family requested that his name not be published, set out last Tuesday from the village of Khirganga, in India’s Parvati Valley. A travel companion who also went off on a solo hike returned Friday to discover that his comrade never came back, and immediately reported him missing to the Foreign Ministry.
The ministry and the man’s family informed the man’s insurance company, Harel, and on Saturday, Harel organized a local search party for him. It also sent its own search and rescue team off to India.
The ministry said on Sunday that it feared the worst, as that region of India is known to be very dangerous for lone travelers: It has a very high crime rate, particularly robberies that sometimes end in violence; its mountain paths are dangerous, and travelers have been killed in falls or rockslides; and it is also a center of the Indian drug trade. Several Israeli tourists have been killed there in the past, and the ministry tells trekkers not to go off on their own in that area.
The ministry added that it is keeping the man’s family posted on the search progress.
Despite its dangers, the Parvati Valley is a very popular destination for recently demobbed Israelis. Over the last decade, thousands have gone there every summer.
Aside from the scenery – the valley is located in the Himalayan Mountains – Parvati has another attraction for some Israeli trekkers: The village of Malana is known for producing excellent hashish.
However, several Israelis have disappeared without a trace in Parvati. These include Guy Duadi, who disappeared 2003 while awaiting a rescue crew after dislocating his leg. His body was never found. In 2005, Daniel Mountwitten left his guesthouse and vanished, and his body, too, was never found.