Chinese authorities not allowing holy dip in Mansarovar Lake, allege devotees

kailash mansarovar devotee

New Delhi, May 28: Hindu devotees, who have travelled to Kailash Mansarovar on a holy pilgrimage, have alleged that Chinese authorities are not allowing them to take a dip in the Mansarovar lake, reports news agency ANI. 

Reacting to this, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday clarified that China has not denied permission to pilgrims on Kailash Mansarovar Yatra 2018 to take take a holy dip in the Lake Mansarovar.

Addressing the media, Sushma said one cannot take the dip anywhere in the Lake and there has always been a designated spot for this. “I got a tweet from someone who was visiting Mansarovar that they were not being allowed to take a holy dip in the Mansarovar jheel. This wasn’t the situation,” said Swaraj.

“There is always a designated place where you can take a bath, you cannot take the dip just anywhere in the river,” she added. Prior to Yatra, the MEA had announced: “There are two routes for this Yatra. The route through Lipulekh Pass (Uttarakhand), which involves some trekking is estimated to cost about Rs.1.6 lakh per person. It will be conducted in 18 batches of 60 pilgrims each.””The duration of the Yatra is 24 days for each batch including 3 days in Delhi for preparatory work. This route passes through important sites like Narayan Ashram, Patal Bhuvaneshwar etc. Yatris can also see the scenic beauty of Chialekh Valley or the ‘Om Parvat’ which has the natural occurrence of snow in the shape of ‘Om’ on this mountain,” the MEA had said.

Earlier On May 8, Sushma Swaraj had announced that Nathu La pass was opened after India took up the issue with Chinese authorities.

Addressing media persons at a press conference, Sushma had said, “I had told Chinese Foreign Ministry that relations between governments cannot prosper until people-to-people relations are improved when Nathu La pass was closed during last Yatra it came as a blow to people. I am happy to announce that it has now been opened for Yatra.”

Swaraj, who was in China for Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)’s Foreign Ministers’ meet, had said that her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi had agreed to allow Kailash Mansarovar Yatra, which was stopped by Beijing after the 72-day-long Doklam standoff.

In 2017, China had not permitted the Indian pilgrims to travel to Kailash Mansarovar via Nathu La Pass (Sikkim) in the wake of the face-off with the Indian military on the Doklam Plateau. The route through Nathu La pass “is motorable and suitable for senior citizens who are unable to undertake arduous trekking”. India had raised the issue with China during meetings last year, including the one Sushma Swaraj had with her Chinese counterpart in December. Eventually, the Chinese authorities gave the permission to resume the Yatra via Nathu La Pass.

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