GANGTOK, March 26 � With India and China having exchanged notes on modalities for opening Nathu La as a second route for pilgrims undertaking the Kailash-Mansarovar Yatra, Sikkim�s Tourism and Civil Aviation Department is working in tandem with Ministry of External Affairs to earmark the task to Sikkim Tourism Development Corporation (STDC).
The proposed �Yatra� through Sikkim, scheduled to begin from June, is the first luxury route to �Kailash Mansarovar� from India and pilgrims, after crossing over from Nathu La, will travel to Shigatse, the second largest city in Tibet, an official said.
From there they will take the Kailash-Mansarovar highway. Thus far, from India, the only route to Kailash involved an arduous and dangerous trek through Uttarakhand. The only vehicular travel option was via Nepal.
The new motorable route through Nathu La is scheduled to accommodate around 250 pilgrims this season, the official said.
As things stand, Sikkim does not have enough experienced porters to escort pilgrims to Kailash Mansarovar.
Pilgrims have the option of taking yaks or ponies on this leg, but these come at a high premium. � PTI