Beijing: Ten months after the pilgrimage was stopped following the Doklam standoff, India and China on Sunday agreed to resume the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra through the Nathu La route in Sikkim.
The decision was made during talks between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Beijing. "We are happy that the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra through the Nathu La route will be resumed this year (2018). I am confident that with Chinese side's full cooperation, this year the yatra will be a fulfilling experience for the visiting Indian pilgrims," Swaraj said during a joint press statement with Wang.
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Swaraj and Wang on Sunday discussed a host of bilateral issues and ways to step up the pace of high-level interactions to improve the relationship. "We will work closely with the Chinese leadership to take India-China cooperation to new heights," she said
On his part, Wang said the bilateral ties have witnessed a good development and shown a positive momentum this year under the guidance of the leaders of the two nations.
Swaraj arrived in Beijing on Saturday on a four-day visit to take part in the foreign ministers' meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).
Kailash Mansarovar Yatra:
Ministry of External Affairs organises the yatra from June to September each year through two different routes - Lipulekh Pass (Uttarakhand) and Nathu La Pass (Sikkim). The yatra, which holds religious value, cultural significance, is undertaken by hundreds of people every year.
Holding significance for Hindus as the abode of Lord Shiva, it holds religious importance also for the Jains and the Buddhists. It is open to eligible Indian citizens, holding valid Indian passports, who wish to proceed to Kailash-Manasarovar for religious purposes.
The yatra was stopped by China in the aftermath of the military face-off with India in 2017 at Doklam.
The Doklam standoff began on June 16 after the Indian troops intervened and stopped the Chinese Army from building a road in the area claimed by Bhutan as it posed a security risk to Chicken Neck, the narrow corridor connecting India with its north-eastern states. Finally, the two armies 'disengaged' on August 28, 2017.
(With PTI inputs)