- The pilgrimage to Kailash-Mansarovar will be a breeze from June 22,thanks to a new route allowed by the Chinese government.
- Instead of trekking for 12 days over rugged terrain at altitudes up to 19,500 feet as they have been doing for centuries now, pilgrims to Mount Kailash in south western Tibet will be driven all through the Tibetan plateau from Nathula in Sikkim.
- While the old yatra route through Lipulekh takes 22 days, the journey from Nathula will take only 19 days (from Delhi and back).
- Significantly, against 12 days of trekking, the pilgrims will walk for only two-and-a-half days — when they do the ‘parikrama’ of Mount Kailash.
- The first batch of 50 pilgrims will cross over into Tibet from Sikkim on June 22 to bus it all the way to Darchen for their holy ‘parikrama’.
- One-way journey from Delhi to Kailash-Mansarovar through Lipulekh is 854-km long, while the one through Nathula is over 3,000 kms.
- Till now, pilgrims would trek through Uttarakhand and Nepal and cross over to Tibet on foot through the Lipulekh Pass (17,500 feet) and then journey by bus and foot to Mount Kailash.
- The procedure for the pilgrimage remains the same and applicants will have to indicate their preference for Nathula or Lipulekh routes.
- Pilgrims will be chosen through a draw of lots and will have to undergo medical tests in Delhi before they apply for Chinese visas.
Source: The Times Of India