External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today flagged off the first batch of 58 pilgrims to the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra for the season. Speaking on the occasion, Ms Swaraj appealed to the pilgrims to keep an eye on cleanliness while on the way to the Mount Kailash. She also appealed to pilgrims to be more responsible towards cleanliness and environment protection. She said, Ministry of External Affairs received nearly 4,500 applications for the annual yatra this year witnessing an increase of around 1800 as against 2016.
Eighteen batches of 60 pilgrims each will take the Lipulekh Pass route while eight batches comprising 50 pilgrims each will take the Nathu La route. The former is known to be more arduous.
Kailash Manasarovar Yatra is known for its religious value, cultural significance, physical beauty and thrilling nature. It is undertaken by thousands of people every year. Holding significance for Hindus as the abode of Lord Shiva, it holds religious importance also for the Jains and the Buddhists.