June 12, 2023: Tibet has reopened its doors to Indian travelers, granting them access to the revered pilgrimage site of Kailash Mansarovar. This comes one month after Tibet permitted Nepalese citizens to embark on the sacred journey.
Kailash Mansarovar holds deep spiritual significance for Hindus, who consider it a sacred location. While Nepalese pilgrims were allowed to visit starting from May 1, Indian travelers had to wait until June 1 to undertake the pilgrimage.
Tenzin Norbu Lama, the President of the Association of Kailash Tour Operators, reported a significant surge in the number of Nepalese visitors participating in the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra (pilgrimage) since the travel restrictions were lifted for Nepalis. In May alone, approximately 500 people from Nepal made the journey to Kailash.
Lama further shared that a large number of Indian pilgrims are eager to undertake the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra in June. He estimated that the number of Indian visitors would range between two and three thousand. Additionally, it has been agreed that PCR tests and vaccination certificates will no longer be mandatory for those visiting Kailash Mansarovar.
Previously, an estimated 20,000 to 24,000 Nepalese tourists visited the holy site of Kailash Mansarovar annually. However, access was halted when tensions arose between India and Nepal due to the construction of a road by the Indian side towards Kailash Mansarovar. The Chinese authorities closed the border as a precautionary measure during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The reopening of the Tibet border has reignited interest among businesspeople and travelers alike. Since Nepal serves as the entry point to Mount Kailash, businessmen anticipate a growth in tourist arrivals as religious travelers on the Kailash Yatra often visit popular sites like Pashupatinath and Muktinath.
The Kailash Yatra is considered a transformative “spiritual journey to the center of the universe,” believed to hold immense spiritual power. Mount Kailash, towering at a height of 6,714 meters, is revered as the abode of Lord Shiva and Parvati.
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