Kailash Mansarovar yatra unlikely to resume for 4th consecutive year

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Kailash Mansarovar yatra

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Pithoragarh (U'khand): The Kailash-Mansarovar yatra is unlikely to resume for the fourth consecutive year with no communication yet from the Ministry of External Affairs to the nodal agency about the annual pilgrimage.

The yatra is conducted through the Lipulekh pass in Uttarakhand's Pithoragarh district every year.

However, it remains suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic since 2020.

The yatra through the Lipulekh pass was last organised in 2019.

"There is no communication about the yatra yet from the external affairs ministry nor is there any information about it on its official website," AP Vajpayee, an official of the Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam, which is the nodal agency for the yatra, said.

Pithoragarh District Magistrate Reena Joshi confirmed that there is no communication from the government yet about the pilgrimage.

"The Kailash-Mansarovar yatra through the Lipulekh pass began in 1981 and nearly 1,000 pilgrims used the route every year to reach the sacred destination of Kailash-Mansarovar in Tibet till 2019," KMVN Manager Dinesh Gururani, who has 35 years of experience in managing the yatra, said.

"As a substitute to the Kailash Mansarovar yatra, we are now preparing for the yatra to Adi Kailash, which is located in the Vyas valley within the Indian territory," Vajpayee said.

If things were normal, at least two meetings on the preparations for the yatra -- one in New Delhi and another in Pithoragarh -- would have been held by now, he said, adding that online applications for the yatra would also have been invited.

The yatra usually commences in the first week of June and the preparations for it begin three-four months in advance.

"With the Kailash-Mansarovar yatra not taking place for the last few years, we have developed the routes to Adi Kailash and are preparing a final route chart," Vajpayee said.

The yatra to Adi Kailash will commence in the first week of May and continue till the first week November, he said. It will start from Kathgodam and reach Adi Kailash via Kainchi Dham, Jageshwar, Pithoragarh, Dharchula, Bundi, Gunji, Nabhidhang, Om Parvat, Kalapani and Vyas Gufa, Vajpayee said.