Some devotees at Kailash Mansarovar have alleged that Chinese authorities are not allowing them to take the holy dip in the Mansarovar Lake. So far Indian government hasn’t reacted to the development.
On 8th May, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj announced that the Nathu-La-Pass has been reopened for the annual Kailash Mansarovar Yatra. China had shut down the Nathu La Pass in Sikkim and denied the entry to the Kailash Mansarovar pilgrims last year due to the 72-day-long standoff in Doklam.
“I had told Chinese Foreign Ministry that relations between governments cannot prosper until people-to-people relations are improved when the Nathu La Pass was closed during the last yatra it came as a blow to people. I am happy to announce that it has now been opened for the yatra,” Swaraj said.
She added “We will send 18 batches, of 60 pilgrims each, through LipuilekaPass and 10 batches, of 50 pilgrims each, through Nath La Pass. Somewhere around 1580 pilgrims will undertake the Kailash Mansarovar yatra this year.”
The four-month travel period of the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra starts in June. Thousands of Indian pilgrims take part in the yatra every year via Nepal in the Tibetan Autonomous region of China ahead of the monsoon season.
The tour is organised by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) each year between June and September in cooperation with the government of the People’s Republic of China through two different routes- Lipulekh Pass (Uttarakhand) and Nath La pass (Sikkim).
The Nathu La route was opened to Indian pilgrims in 2015. Once pilgrims cross Nathu La Pass, they are ferried by Chinese transport to Kailash.