First batch of pilgrims to Kailash Mansarovar Yatra flagged off
Courtesy Times Of India –
External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on Saturday flagged off the first batch of pilgrims to the holy Kailash Mansarovar Yatra for the season.
Swaraj also appealed to pilgrims to be more “responsible” when they cross over to China and that they should not resort to any acts that dents the image of the country.
Around 1,430 pilgrims in 25 batches are expected to undertake the pilgrimage to Tibet in China this season .
Eighteen batches of 60 pilgrims will take the Lipulekh Pass route while seven batches comprising 50 pilgrims will take the Nathu La route. The former is known to be more arduous.
The yatra, which begins this month will continue for the next four months till the last batch of pilgrim completes the religious exercise.
For this year’s yatra, more than 2,260 pilgrims had made an application and pilgrims were short-listed through a computerized process. Last year 999 pilgrims had undertaken the yatra in 23 batches taking the two routes.
“People say when you see (mountain) Kaliash, you go in a different world and when one drinks water from Kaliash Mansarovar its like consuming amrit,” she said.
She also urged the pilgrims to be more responsible during their travel.
“When we enter China, they judge our culture through our behaviour and acts. So there are many things that we do knowingly or unknowingly may not fit in their culture. So we should also be a bit responsible that whatever we do will have its effects on India’s image. So as a responsible travellers …
“We do many things which dents the image of the country. So we should not do it. So, while undertaking the pilgrimage we go there keeping full faith in Lord Shankar, but we also have a responsibility towards the nation while undertaking this yatra,” the external affairs minister said.
Swaraj said, this year the government has taken efforts to provide better amenities to the pilgrims like tracking the yatra through the liasioning officer when the batch crosses over to China.