Kailash-Mansarovar yatra on schedule, says government

May 7th, 2008 - 11:34 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, May 7 (IANS) The annual pilgrimage to Mount Kailash and Mansarovar Lake in Tibet will start from June 1, the Indian government announced here Wednesday. “The government has begun preparations for this year’s yatra along with the government of China,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Navtej Sarna said here.

The government spokesman rejected a media report that suggested the pilgrimage might not take place this year due to the Chinese refusal to grant visas to Indian pilgrims.

The report quoted a former police officer as saying that the Chinese authorities were not issuing visas to pilgrims to register their unhappiness at India’s handling of the Tibetans’ protests across the country.

The arduous pilgrimage that covers one of the most inhospitable terrains in the world lasts 26 days. Pilgrims will be spending 13 days in Tibet - home to Mount Kailash which is revered by Hindus as the abode of Lord Shiva and Lake Mansarovar, a dip in which is said to cleanse all one’s sins.

The yatra will commence June 1 with up to 16 batches of pilgrims. and the last batch would be back in the capital by Sep 2. Each pilgrim batch would comprise 40-45 devotees.

Personnel of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police will provide telecommunication services through satellite phones, high-altitude medical check-up and security cover to the pilgrims.

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