Motorable route to Kailash-Mansarovar to open in June

Modi announces the second route for the pilgrims that passes through Tibet

GN Bureau | May 15, 2015


#Kailash   #Mansarovar   #China   #Tibet   #India   #pilgrimage  

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday announced that the second route for the Kailash-Manasarovar Yatra will become operational next month (June), allowing more Indians to undertake the pilgrimage.

 
“The Nathu La route for Indian pilgrims to visit Kailash Mansarovar will become operational in June. I want to thank China for that,” the Prime Minister said in Beijing.
 
The Nathu La pass is a motorable route and comfortable to use. The old and people with mobility issues can also go this time by car till Mount Mansarovar.The Nathu La pass, 4,000 metres above sea level, will allow more Indians to undertake the pilgrimage, in addition to the existing Lipulekh Pass in Uttarakhand.
 
The only route – Lipulekh Pass – was badly damaged in the floods in Uttarakhand in 2013.
 
The Ministry of External Affairs currently takes more than 1,000 pilgrims a year in 18 batches involving a 22-day journey and officials expect that the number of pilgrims could rise considerably once the new route is opened.
 
Modalities for opening the second route for the Kailash- Manasarovar Yatra in Tibet via Sikkim by June were finalised on February 1 when External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj went to China.
 
China had promised opening the new route for the Yatra during president Xi Jinping maiden visit to New Delhi in September last year and the two sides had agreed to work closely to ensure smooth commencement of the pilgrimage through the new route.
 
Modi had made a strong pitch for the second route during his first meeting with Xi on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in Brazil.
 
The new motorable route is via Nathu La on the India-China border from east Sikkim to Shigatse, the second biggest city in Tibet.
 
Eighteen batches of 60 people each will pass through the old route whereas five batches of 50 people each will use the new route to reach Kailash Mansarovar in Tibet.
 
In a first, a dedicated interactive website - http://kmy.gov.in - will have details like fares for the journey from both routes and other information people need to plan for the pilgrimage that will end in September.
 
The Kailash Mansarovar yatra helpline number is 011-24300655, where the caller will have a menu of options to choose from and learn more about the pilgrimage.

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