New Delhi: Sushma Swaraj, the newly designated foreign minister of India, flagged off the first batch of annual Hindu pilgrimage, Kailash Mansarovar Yatra, the holy Lake Mansarovar in Tibet, on Wednesday.
According to the Hindu mythology, the water of this holy lake is believed to wash off the sins off the human beings. The Hindus consider the Mansarovar Lake and the flanking Mount Kailash as the home of Lord Shiva, the creator of world.
Every year, the Indian foreign affairs ministry organizes this trip between the month of June and September. Pilgrims in large numbers from all over the subcontinent participate in the yatra to take ceremonial baths in the holy lake water.
Speaking on the occasion in the national capital, Foreign Affairs Miniter Sushma Swaraj said: “In India, there is a huge practice of going on pilgrimages. People from different states go on different kinds of pilgrimages, some long, some short. But we can say without doubt that out of all these pilgrimages, the most difficult pilgrimage is that of Kailash Mansarovar. Despite that with the light of hope, you all undertake that journey.”
Notably, the pilgrimage-route of Mansarovar Yatra has high probability of earthquakes and landslides.
According to Mrs. Swaraj, the pilgrims will have privilege to use the Chinese paths to Mount Kailash from next year. Citing her talks with Chinese foreign minister, Wang Yi, as fruitful, she said that the new route can be plied by cars.
“The Kailash Mansarovar pilgrimage can be a big medium for the betterment of relations between Indians and Chinese. The trekking path that goes from India is a very difficult path, but the path that the Chinese have made after the Nathula Pass (a mountain pass between the north eastern province of Sikkim and Tibet) is a motorable road where you can take your car. That is why I have spoken to them (Chinese authorities),” informed Sushma Swaraj.
“It has only been 15 days since I have been handling this profile. I can't undertake such a big task so quickly. But by the next year that path should be opened so that the Indians, who cannot make that journey because it is physically taxing for them, can also fulfill their wish to go to Kailash Mansarovar,” she added.
As per the information given by the ministry, this year 18 batches will be sent to the yatra, which is of 22 days.
Since ages, the Kailash-Mansarovar route has been an important trade link between India and its counterpart China.
Until 1962, when India and China fought a brief war, the Hindus from India used to undertake the pilgrimage for many years. However, the Yatra was resumed in 1981 after India-China came stable on their inter-relationships.
At present, hundreds of Hindu pilgrims under take this, “Kailash Mansarovar Yatra” every year, in spite of highly expensive journey, life risking routes and non-existence of adequate facilities inconvenience related to medication and communicating during travelling.