Nepal has requested China to open border points in Tibet so that nearly 25,000 pilgrims from India and other countries around the world can participate in this year’s Kailash Mansarovar Yatra.
The move follows reports in a section of Nepali media quoting tour operators that China has closed the border points following the April 25 quake to ensure safety of pilgrims.
“There has been no official statement from China about the closure. But we are requesting our foreign ministry to take up the matter with Chinese authorities to ensure the border points are open for pilgrims,” said tourism ministry spokesperson Mohan Krishna Sapkota.
Nearly 25,000 pilgrims from India and other countries are reported to have made bookings with 38 tour operators in Nepal to take part in the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra this year.
Tour operators have told the Nepal government that Chinese authorities have closed the border points in view of landslides taking place in the region following the April 25 quake and its aftershocks.
They have asked the government to request China to open the border point at Hilsa in Humla district to enable the pilgrims to take part in the yatra.
“We are taking up the issue through diplomatic channels. The outcome will be known in few days,” said Sapkota. He said continuation of the yatra would boost tourism in Nepal, which got affected after the April 25 quake.
Nearly 40,000 pilgrims and tourists, nearly 80% of them from India, take part in the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra every year, which takes place between May and July ahead of the monsoon