Dehra Dun: The Kailash-Mansarovar yatra, which had to be abandoned last year because of the Himalayan Tsunami that struck this small mountain state in June last year and caused immense damage to the yatra route, is scheduled to begin from Delhi on June 11 this year, even as a section of tour operators are skeptical about the route being restored for the pilgrims in time.
According to the Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam (KMVN), which facilitates the yatra about 18 batches, comprising 60 pilgrims in each batch is likely to undertake the grueling yatra, a part of which is within the Chinese territory, this year. The pilgrims will have to undergo medical check ups at Delhi to ensure that they can bear the physical and mental exhaustion of the yatra, which takes 26 days.
Insiders revealed that though an all-clear had been given by the Ministry of External Affairs which organizes the yatra and the KMVN which acts as the facilitator and makes the necessary arrangements at its camps on the Indian side, much of the work on restoring the yatra route, which was damaged badly at various places, had yet to be completed.
Following the intense damage to the existing route, initially the KMVN was thinking of planning another route for the yatra, which would be more stable and less grueling but as the weather this year has been uncertain and generally bad, it was decided that the old route would be repaired and restored so that the pilgrims were not disappointed this year also.
The 107.6 kms road from Pithoragrh to Tawaghat is in a bad shape and a bridge was also swept away in the floods last year, which has to be built. There are reports that even the trekking route which has been badly damaged and a number of landslip zones have developed have to be restored to ensure that there is no landslide during the yatra.
But the sight that one comes across when one reaches the Kailash Mansarovar and enroute besides the very thought of reaching Kailash, the abode of Lord Shiva is enough to soothe and calm one besides giving a spiritual relief. For after all it is said that even Ravana meditated at this spot to get a boon from Lord Shiva.
The Mansarovar lake, spread over an area of 120 sq kms and located at a height of about 17,000 ft is said to be the highest fresh water lake in the world and is said to befed from the waters emanating from the hair of Lord Shiva himself. Considered to be the holiest lake, many of the pilgrims do not nhesitate to take a dip in its weaters.
About 45 kms from the Mansarovar lake is Dharchin, where the starting point of the Kailash ‘parikrama’ is located.