After signing 24 agreements with China on his maiden visit to the nation, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed people that Nathu La route will be in operation by June 2015, allowing more Indian pilgrims to visit Kailash Mansarovar.
Besides Lipulekh Pass, which was badly damaged in 2013 Uttarakhand floods; Nathu La route (located 4000 meters above sea level) is the alternate route to reach Kailash Mansarovar. Nathu La route will facilitate Indian pilgrims especially elder Indians to travel by bus; however lack of oxygen in Himalayan conditions will still be a challenge.
Hoping for an increase in the number of pilgrims visiting Kailash after opening of second route, officials from Ministry of External Affairs said that the department currently takes more than 1000 pilgrims to Kailash Mansarovar in 18 batches every year.
However, modalities for opening second route for the Kailash-Manasarovar Yatra via Sikkim were finalized on February 1 when External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj visited China.
During his visit to New Delhi in September 2014, Chinese president Xi Jinping had promised to open a new route for Kailash Mansarovar, and both the nations agreed to work in this direction together.
On his first meeting with Xi Jinping at BRICS summit in Brazil, Modi had strongly advocated for opening second route to Kailash Mansarovar.
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