Pithoragarh: The annual pilgrimage to Kailash Mansarovar in Tibet has commenced as the first batch of 53 pilgrims from Delhi reached Kathgodam on Wednesday.

The batch, including 22 women, had left from Delhi on Tuesday night and reached Kathgodam on Wednesday morning where they were received ceremonially by Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam Limited (KMVN), the nodal agency responsible for making all the arrangements for the yatra

"This year, a total of 18 batches of pilgrims are scheduled to go to Tibet in China to have a glimpse of holy mount Kailash, the abode of Lord Shiva, and take a holy bath in the sacred lake of Mansarovar," Deepak Rawat, managing director of the nigam.

"Each batch will take 22 days to complete the yatra. Out of these days, the pilgrims will spend 14 days in Indian territory and eight days inside the Chinese territory of Tibet," said Rawat.

"The nigam is charging Rs 32,000 from each pilgrim for the arrangements of the yatra, including transport, boarding, meals, guides, communication and other things," said the MD.

According to Rawat, China is separately charging 801 USD (Rs 46,289) from each pilgrim for the expenditures in Chinese territory of Tibet.

"The total distance of this yatra is 647 km (one side) in the Indian territory and 243 km (one side) inside the Chinese territory. This includes 82 km of tracking in India and 50 km of tracking in Tibet," the KMVN official said.

According to the nodal agency sources, the pilgrimage will conclude on September 9, when the last and the 18th batch will reach New Delhi back from the yatra.


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