The new route through the Himalayan pass of Nathu La, 4,000 metres above sea level, will facilitate more comfortable travel for the Indian pilgrims, especially for the elderly, by buses compared to the existing way through Lipulekh Pass in Uttarakhand.

"I am delighted to flag off the batch of pilgrims to Kailash Mansarovar today for two reasons. Firstly, the promise I made last year of enabling the elderly citizens to undertake the pilgrimage is being fulfilled and secondly the happiness I see on faces of these people who otherwise would not have been able to undertake the yatra," Swaraj said.

A total of 18 batches, each comprising around 60 pilgrims, will visit Kailash Mansoravar through the existing route while five batches having 50 pilgrims each will visit it through the newly opened route.

"When I took over as the External Affairs Minister, I had promised that we are in conversation with China for developing an alternate route to Kailash Mansarovar which will be completely motorable," Swaraj cited.

She added government will keep track of the movement of the pilgrims so that assistance can be provided whenever it is required.

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