New Delhi: The External Affairs Ministry on Tuesday announced the selected pilgrims for the annual Kailash Mansarovar Yatra chosen through computerised draw.
Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj presided over the draw of lots for this year’s pilgrimage.
“Those selected through the computerised draw of lots will be informed through SMS and email. After the draw of lots, the pilgrims can seek changes in their batch by sending their request online or by calling the designated number,” Swaraj said.
The four-month travel period to the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra starts from June 8.
Four members of a family will also be able to go in the same batch keeping in mind the concerns of applicants for their family members.
As in the previous years, first-time applicants, medical doctors, and married couples have been given priority.
Eighteen batches of 60 pilgrims each will take the Lipulekh Pass route, while 10 batches, comprising 50 pilgrims each, will take the Nathu La route. The former is known to be more arduous.
The route through the Lipulekh Pass (Uttarakhand), which involves some trekking, is estimated to cost about Rs 1.6 lakh per person. The duration of the yatra is 24 days for each batch, including three days in Delhi, for preparatory work. This route passes through important sites like Narayan Ashram and Patal Bhuvaneshwar.
The pilgrims can also see the scenic beauty of Chialekh Valley or the ‘Om Parvat’ which has the natural occurrence of snow in the shape of ‘Om’ on this mountain.
The route through the Nathu La Pass (Sikkim) is motorable and suitable for senior citizens unable to undertake arduous trekking.
From Gangtok, the route passes through scenic places like the Hangu lake, and through the vast landscape of the Tibetan plateau. It is estimated to cost about Rs 2 lakh per person, and duration would be 21 days, including three days in Delhi, for preparatory work.