PITHOGARH (U'Khand): First batch of 58 Indian piligrims undertaking the annual yatra to Kailash Mansarovar today crossed over to the Tibetan Autonomous Region of China.
All 58 Indian pilgrims of first batch of Kailash Mansarovar yatra crossed over to Tibetan Autonomous Region of China through Lipulekh pass, situated at 17,500 feet on the existing route, early this morning, ITBP sources said.
Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) jawans helped the pilgrims at Nabhidhank camp, where they reached last evening after spending two days at Gunji camp, they said.
The pilgrims crossed over to Chinese territory early in the morning as roads become slippery due to melting of snow after temperature increases after sun rises.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had flagged off the first batch from New Delhi on June 12, which was undertaking the pilgrimage through the existing route of Lipulekh Pass in Uttarakhand.
Pilgrimage to the famous religious place will also be undertaken through a second route via Nathu La, which was announced by Chinese President Xi Jinping during his visit here last September.
Modalities for opening the second route for the Kailash-Manasarovar Yatra in Tibet via Sikkim by this month were finalised on February 1 when Swaraj visited China.
The pilgrims would remain in Tibet for 13 days from today.
During their stay, they will perform 'Parikrama' (circumambulation) of holy mountain, Kailash and take a dip in holy lake, Mansarovar.
According to ITBP sources, the second batch of pilgrims has reached Bundi camp today.
"The second batch of 54 pilgrims will reach Gunji camp tomorrow on the occasion of International Yoga Day (IYD). They will also participate in performing yoga with ITBP jawans at 10,370 feet high to mark the IYD in the country," said ITBP officers.