A nearly submerged temple in Himachal Pradesh, with floodwater swirling around its spire, has become almost emblematic of the destruction wrought on the state by incessant rain, which has battered it for over two weeks now.

Over 30 people have died in the state and there has been damage worth over ₹ 3,000 crore. But when the sun came out today, visuals of water receding around the Mahadev Temple in Mandi served as a ray of hope to many.

While footage from yesterday showed even the main, bigger spire close to being engulfed by the floodwater, the entire temple could be seen in all its glory today, with the water flowing below its base.

An immediate cause of the situation getting as bad as it did over the past few days in Mandi and surrounding areas is obvious – unchecked construction around the Beas river, which has constricted the area available for it to flow and ensured that the river has to carry additional debris in case of landslides.

These factors make the river change course and enter houses in low-lying areas and along its banks, leaving a trail of destruction in its path.

An orange (second-highest level) alert has been sounded for Mandi and surrounding areas today. Authorities have, however, told NDTV that the expectation is that the intensity of the rainfall will be less than what it was yesterday.

Of the 30 people who have died in Himachal, Shimla – which saw 11 deaths – reported the highest number of casualties. Police said 29 of the 30 dead bodies have been identified.

Over 500 tourists have also been stranded in various parts of the state after rain-induced landslides cut off access to the areas.

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