Mansarovar Yatra: Swaraj rubbishes allegation that Chinese prevented pilgrims from taking 'holy dip'
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday rubbished the allegation that Chinese authorities prevented pilgrims from taking a dip in the Mansarovar Lake, which is considered holy by the Hindus.
It was earlier reported that devotees at Kailash Mansarovar alleged that Chinese authorities are not allowing them to take holy dip in the Mansarovar Lake. When asked to comment on this, Swaraj said that there is a designated place to take the holy dip, adding, "You cannot take the dip just anywhere in the river."
"I got a tweet from someone who was visiting Mansarovar that they were not being allowed to take holy dip in the Mansarovar jheel. This wasn't the situation. There is always a designated place where you can take a bath, you cannot take dip just anywhere in the river," she said.
China had shut down the Nathu La pass in Sikkim and denied entry to the Kailash Mansoravar (located in Tibet) pilgrims last year due to the 73-day-long standoff in Doklam between the Indian and Chinese over the construction of a road.
When asked about the the situation in Doklam near Sikkim, the Minister said, "I am repeating again, at the Doklam faceoff site there is no change in the situation, status quo is continuing."
Kailash is a mountain peak located near Manasarovar lake in the Tibetan Autonomous Region of China and is considered holy by the Hindus as the abode of Lord Shiva. It also holds religious significance for Jains and Buddhists. The Kailash Mansarovar yatra, one of the toughest pilgrimages in the world, draws hundreds of pilgrims every year.
The tour is organised by the MEA each year between June and September in cooperation with the government of People's Republic of China through two different routes - Lipulekh Pass (Uttarakhand) and Nathu La Pass (Sikkim). After crossing over the Nathu La pass, Indian pilgrims are ferried by Chinese transport to Kailash.