The new shorter route inaugurated to reach Kailash Mansarovar, which is more comfortable and less costly for pilgrims from India. It has been made possible with the new road that connects Dharchula in Uttarkhand to Lipulekh; the Lipulekh Pass joins India to Tibet. The road will cut short the trip from India to Kailash Mansarovar, which is situated in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China.
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Kailash Mansarovar is the main pilgrimage destination for the followers of Hinduism and is believed to be home to Hindu deity Shiva. It is also considered holy in Buddhism, Jainism and Bon religion.
Bon, the native religion of Tibet that, when absorbed by the Buddhist traditions introduced from India in the 8th century, gave Tibetan Buddhism much of its distinguishing character. Every year, pilgrims from India, visit Kailash Mansarovar in batches. The new road will reduce travel time by six days.
Apart from the time, the new route is more relaxed and does not include difficult trekking, thus making it suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels to visit Kailash Mansarovar. A short 5 km trek would be required once pilgrims cross over to China across Lipulekh Pass.
The fresh road was inaugurated by Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who also flagged off a convoy of vehicles from Pithoragarh to Gunji via video conferencing. He also took to social media to announce the development. The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has been working on the road, working out full caution in the current Coronavirus pandemic.
An 80-km tactically vital road linking the Lipulekh pass at a height of 17,000 feet along the border with Tibet in Uttarakhand with Dharchula was thrown open by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. The new road is predictable to help pilgrims visiting Kailash Mansarovar in Tibet as it is around 90 km from the Lipulekh pass.
After inaugurating the road through video-conferencing, Mr. Singh said pilgrims going to Kailash Mansarovar will now be able to complete their journey in one week instead of up to three weeks.
The road originates at Ghatiabagarh and ends at Lipulekh pass, the gateway to Kailash-Mansarovar.
“With the completion of this crucial road link, the decades-old dreams and aspirations of the local people and pilgrims have been fulfilled,” the Defence Minister said. He also uttered confidence that local trade and economic growth in the region would receive an improvement with the operationalization of the road.
Military officials said the road will also help in quick movement of troops in the strategically key region bordering Tibet. Mr. Singh flagged off a caravan of nine vehicles from Pithoragarh to Gunji to mark the opening of the road.
With the inauguration of the strategically vital road, over 80-km of rough Himalayan terrain, between the Mangti camp near Tawaghat and Gunji in the Vyas valley, and the security posts on the Indian side of the border, has become accessible, the official said.
Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari had announced last year that the road will be completed by April 2020. The construction of the road began in 2008 and was scheduled to be completed in 2013, but it got late due to the tough terrain in the portion between Nazang to Bundi village.