GUWAHATI, INDIA, June 23, 2017 (NDTV): With China refusing to open the gates to the first batch of about 50 pilgrims scheduled to travel to Kailash Mansarovar through Nathu La in Sikkim, the devotees have returned to Sherthang after waiting for a week. The second batch of pilgrims has been held up in Gangtok. “Yes, there are some difficulties being experienced in movement of pilgrims via Nathu La. Matter is being discussed with Chinese side,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said today.
For nearly a week, a group of about 50 people waited in Sikkim for China to grant them passage to Tibet where they wanted to worship at Mount Kailash, which is at an altitude of about 21,000 ft. China refused to open its gates, reportedly because of major landslides. There are two routes to get to Mount Kailash, considered the abode of Lord Shiva and of religious significance to Hindus, Jains and Buddhists – through a pass in Uttarakhand and through the Nathu La pass in Sikkim. Chinese President Xi Jinping committed the new route through Nathu La Pass to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had pointed out the terrain difficulties of the existing routes through Uttarakhand and Nepal which involve arduous journey, including heavy trekking and travel on the backs of mules.