Kailash Mansarovar Pilgrimage


• Kailash Manasarovar Yatra (KMY) is known for its religious value, cultural significance. It is undertaken by hundreds of people every year. Holding significance for Hindus as the abode of Lord Shiva, it holds religious importance also for the Jains and the Buddhists.
• As a result of this stand-off, China has denied passage to Indian pilgrims going for the Mansarovar Yatra through Nathu La pass.
• Despite having Chinese approved visas, first batch of pilgrims were sent back from the Nathu La border post while the other batches had to drop their yatra plans.
• Ministry of External Affairs organizes this Yatra during June to September each year through two different routes – Lipulekh Pass (Uttarakhand) and Nathu La Pass (Sikkim).
• Nathula pass is a new route while Lipulekh (First map and depicted as exited route in map 2) has been in use for decades now.
• It is open to eligible Indian citizens,holding valid Indian passports, who wish to proceed to Kailash-Manasarovar for religious purposes.
• Ministry of External Affairs does not provide any subsidy or financial assistance to Yatris.
• The Yatra involves trekking at high altitudes of up to 19,500 feet, under inhospitable conditions, including extreme weather, and rugged terrain, and may prove hazardous for those who are not physically and medically fit.
• This Yatra is organized with the support of the state governments of Uttarakhand, Delhi, and Sikkim; and the cooperation of Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).

There are 2 routes from India to the Mansarovar Lake
• The existing route from Nainital through Lipulekh Pass which was destroyed in the Uttarakhand floods, but now operational. This route has been in use since 3 decades but is more perilous, takes longer time and is mostly a foot trek.
• The new route from Sikkim through Nathu La passes which was opened to Indian pilgrims from 2015 as a confidence building measure between the two countries. This new route is easier to tread, takes shorter time and has bus facilities at certain stretches.

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