Troops of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), guarding the country’s icy frontier with China, have re-charted an ancient route to Kailash Mansarovar from the Indian side which can be used an as alternative track for the pilgrimage.
The route stretching nearly 60km is said to have been used by pilgrims in ancient times and will be used and developed as an alternative track when the regular route is blocked by landslides and heavy rains in the upper reaches of Uttarakhand.
The ITBP provides security and logistical help to pilgrims during the Mansarovar yatra.
The troops stationed in Pithoragarh district had undertaken the trek. The ITBP has also suggested that the Uttarakhand government declare the route a heritage site and develop it as a second track for the Kailash Mansarovar pilgrimage.
“Our officers and men have undertaken the trek and even made a profile of the local population,” ITBP chief RK Bhatia told reporters here. “The route can be used as an alternative in case of natural disasters like landslides.”
The personnel also collected historical maps, records, letters and photographs during their trek and the journey has been now compiled and brought out as a book titled Kumaon Aur Kailas which was unveiled today in the presence of 50 pilgrims who will undertake the yatra this year in the fourth batch.
The Kailash Mansarovar yatra involves circumambulation of Mount Kailash and Mansarovar Lake in Tibet.
The yatra this year started on May 29 and will be over by September 24 with approximately 960 people undertaking the pilgrimage.
The journey involves trekking through inhospitable terrain at high altitudes of up to almost 19,500 feet and crossing the Indian border through Lipulekh Pass.
The present route of the yatra on the Indian side includes Dharchula, Tavaghat, Mangti, Gala, Budhi, Gunji, Kalapani and Navidhang.