As many as 1,080 pilgrims were on Wednesday selected for the annual Kailash Mansarovar Yatra in Tibet beginning June 12.
The pilgrims were selected through a computerised draw of lots in presence of Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh who described the Yatra as a “lasting symbol” of friendship and cooperation between India and China.
In a brief address, she said the pilgrims have been cultural ambassadors of India to China and were important contributors for deepening people-to-people contacts with the neighbouring country.
Every year, hundreds of people visit Mount Kailash, the abode of Lord Shiva, and take a holy dip in the sacred Manasarovar lake. The Yatra is organised by the Ministry of External Affairs.
“Since the resumption of the Yatra in 1981, our endeavour has been to work closely with the Government of the People’s Republic of China and authorities in Tibet to improve the facilities offered to Yatris and to ensure that the Yatra proceeds smoothly,” Ms. Singh said.
This year, a total of 1080 pilgrims, equally distributed in 18 batches of 60 each, will embark on the Yatra between June 12 and September 9.
The Government has been conducting the Yatra since 1981 in close cooperation with the Government of China under a bilateral arrangement.
The Yatra will pass through Uttarakhand and cross into the Tibet Autonomous Region via Lipulekh Pass.
“We in the Ministry of External Affairs attach great importance to the Yatra keeping in view the deep spiritual and religious sentiments of the people of India associated with Kailash and Manasarovar pilgrimage,” said the Foreign Secretary.
Last year, the government had to cancel the yatra in view of disruption of roads, bridges and tracks along the route due to floods that had hit Uttarakhand. - PTI