For many decades Kailash Mansarovar Yatra has been a dream for those willing to visit the ultimate land of peace and salvation. The geographical conditions, political reasons and many other reasons make this sojourn a difficult task. The frequently changing policies of the local authorities, Indo-China relationship, natural conditions etc are every unpredictible. Yatris need to keep themselves updated on this quite regularly, while planning a trip. We are trying to provide the most relevant and latest Kailash Yatra News and other updates related to travel in Kailash Mansarovar.
Once again this year also, Max Holidays has become the first Kailash Yatra operating Company to receive Tibet Travel permits for Indians. For the last over a month all Indians who wanted to go on this most pious spiritual trip were facing problems due to no clarity on permit and visa by the Chinese Govt. and there were many untrue and false statements were floated in India. However with the first permit issued for the Indian citizens this has come to an end as Tibet has opened its borders for the Indain passport holders w.e.f. 08 June'2023. The first group of the Indian passport holders from Max Holidays is scheduled to start from 04 June'2023 onward with entry in Tibet by 08 June'2023. This news has brought a big relief for the Indian devotees who are booked for this trip through different sources. The Founder Director of Max Holidays Sh. Vishal Gogia, congratulated his team on this big achievement.
China had annouced entry of travellers in Tibet through diffferent border entry points and the Tibetan Authorities are already issuing the permits for travellers other than those holding Indian passport. Recently China had announced steep hike in price of the trip into Tibet for visiting Mt. Kailash and Lake Mansarover, followed by another announcement for the Indian passport holdders to come to China embassy in Delhi for biometrics. Thousands of travellers prepared themselves for the same as they dont want to visit the lifetime opportunity to visit the holy land of Kailash Mansarovar, but Chinese Govt. is still not positive to give entry visa to the Indian passport holders, despite their previous announcement. This is causing great disappoitmet to Indian passport holders living in India and other countries.
China lifted the ban on foreigners entering Tibet this year, and the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra—the annual religious pilgrimage— opened for the first time since COVID-19, but with strict regulations for Indians and Nepalese. As per new regulations, the visa fees for Nepali guides and staff assisting the pilgrims from India and other countries to Tibet and Kailash have increased from $30 to $120. While for permits to acquire a visa, Nepalese will now have to pay $300 while earlier it was $100. Meanwhile, for Indians, China has increased the cost of the Kailash tour package to 2,50,000 Indian rupees (US $3,000 approx.) from Rs 1,50,000 (US $1,800 approx.) per person, as per the Tibet Tourism Bureau.
The good news arrived this morning as Chinese Authority FEC announces opening of the Tibetan borders for Indian passport holders for pilgrimage to Kailash Mansarovar in Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR). The officials said that they will now prepare quickly to offer necessary permits to the Indian passport holders and will also open visa for the same. After a long wait of three years this will be the first time that Indian pilgrims will get the opportunity to visit the ultimate home of almighty Lord Shiva. The authorities may issue a notification in this connection soon and a date for the first entry will be announced.
On Wednesday, 29 March’2023, Nepal-China mechanism in China agrees to reopen the Kerung and Tatopani (Zhangmu) borders completely for trade and travel for Nepal. The Kerung border is opening from 01st April’2023 and the Tatopani border will reopen from 01st May’2023, authorities confirmed. At Nepal’s request China has also agreed to set a multifunction lab on the border. The Rasuwagarhi - Kerung border and Tatopani – Zhangmu borders were closed since after Covid arrived in China in 2020. This is a big news for also those planning to take Mount Kailash and Lake Mansarovar pilgrimage via Nepal route in 2023, as the decision for the same is also likely to arrive after this news.
China will open its orders completely and the Chinese embassies abroad will start issuing various categories of visas to allow tourists ack into their country after a long gap of three years. It is to be noted that China was under lockdown and till date no tourist was permitted to visit China including Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), where thousands of people visit every year for pilgrimage and spiritual peace. Foreigners “with valid visas issued before March 28, 2020 will be allowed to enter China”, the National Immigration Administration said in a notice, adding that it had “decided to adjust policies of foreigners’ visas and entry from 0:00 on March 15, 2023 in order to better coordinate COVID-19 prevention and control with economic and social development, and to facilitate personnel exchanges between China and other countries”.
Previously all Indian residents could freely remit an amount of upto US$ 250,000 out of India in a financial year for travel, medical, family etc., without requiring RBI approval. In the Union Budget 2023-24, the Government of India has amended rules under Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA). Under this amenndment Tax Collected at Source (TCS) on International travel spending has gone up to 20% which will apply on purchase of overseas tour packages (including tours to Nepal & Tibet for Kailash Mansarovar Yatra) by the citizens of India. The new TCS rate will be applicable on travel bookings you make July'2023 onnwards. It is to be noted that it is mandatory for the Indian residents to have a PAN (Permanent Account Number) for all trasactions under LRS (Liberalised Remittance Scheme) made through an authorised person. The TCS of 20% (of the total tour package cost) is to be paid upfront at the time of purchasing the tour. The travel agent will collect the TCS from you and deposit it to the government under your Permanent Account Number or PAN. You can claim the amount paid as TCS while filing your income tax return (ITR).
Followed by the indication given by the Tibetan Authorities to increase the charges for Tibet travel permit and China Group Visa fee the helicopter and flight agencies in Nepal and Tibet are also thinking to increase the cost for tickets/seat in flights for Kailash Mansarovar pilgrims coming from different parts of the world. This is going to put extra financial burden on travellers and pilgrims who are planning to visit Kailash Mansarovar after Covid19 period. Max Holidays has urged the travellers to wait for a final confirmation from the Authorities and Air companies etc as the decision by the Authorities, hotels, airlines etc are yet to come out.
As the Tibetan authorities are in action now and asking the tour agencies to get ready to do the necessary paper work to operate Kailash Mansarovar Yatra, the tour companies in Nepal, Tibet as well as in India are excited. As the Tibetan borders are likely to open this year, authority informed, travellers are booking their pilgrimage in a larger number. However the authorities also gave a clear indication for a hike in the cost of permit and services which is mainly due to the differece in currency exchange rate as compared to the previous years and increase in fuel charges during the last three years when the trips were not operating.
The newly formed China Foreign Exchange Center has announced hike in the cost of travel permits to visit Kialash Manasarovar reion. According to new rules the full amount of the permit will have to be deposited upfront at the time of application, alongwith the supporting decuments for permit.
The Association of Kailash Tour Operators of Nepal (AKTON) and Indian Tour Operators including Max Holidays had a series of discussion and meeting with AKTON and FEC and many other points were discussed and finalised for comfort and safety of the pilgrms. For more information and updates please keep visiting our website or contact our Kailash Yatra experts.
Each and every Indian citizen intending to travel to Kailash Manasarovar through the Himalayan Kingdom has been mandatorily asked by the Indian Embassy located in Nepal to attain the Chinese Visa as well as the travel permit for Tibet before they start their Kailash Mansarovar Yatra.
Apart from that, the devotees have also been recommended to see that they are accompanied with insurance coverage with an intention of meeting each and every need for ex evacuation, extended stay as well as high altitude sickness. As notified by the Embassy of China, it has been confirmed that the Yatris should obtain the Chinese visa from New Delhi’s Embassy of China.
Also, it has to be ensured by the pilgrims that they have the Restricted Area Permit in order to enter Simikot/Hilsa or Rasuwagadhi.
Due to the inadequate availability of the medical facilities in the provinces of Simikot as well as Hilsa, the Kailash Yatris should thus carry adequate amount of medicines along with them just in case of a medical emergency. The quantity of the medicines must be that much that they can even be reserved for the next ten days. The pilgrims must also carry sufficient cash since there are lesser or no ATMs in Simikot and Hilsa.
The SIM Cards of the mobile phones must be facilitated with International calling service. Also, the pilgrims are advised to get the varied communication apps installed in their phones such as Whatsapp, WeChat or Viber. This is advised so that they are able to connect with their friends and family during Wi-Fi even if there is no network.
In order to experience the reduced chances of getting ill, there exists a need for the pilgrims to acclimatise by taking halts at some midway spots. Also, it is mandatory for the victims to get them medically examined before they proceed with the Yatra. The Embassy of India in Kathmandu can be contacted just in case they face any kind of emergencies.
The Association of Kaialsh Tour Operators of Nepal (AKTON) and Indian Tour Operators including Max Holidays had a series of discussion and meeting with AKTON and FEC and many other points were discussed and finalised for comfort and safety of the pilgrms. For more information and updates please keep visiting our website or contact our Kailash Yatra experts.
The prefecture’s upgradation is being thought upon, however the plan is presently standing at a very initial stage as entailed by Ge Qingmin who is the Deputy Commissioner of the prefecture in China's TAR. This has been said as an answer to all the queries attained from the media which were raised during an interactive session where many Kailash Yatra pilgrims were available and they were indulged in sharing their views and opinions on this divine walk.
The distance of the holy Mount Kailash and pristine Lake Manasarovar from Qunsha airport would be around 200 km and thus, it would be easier for the foreign visitors to experience the Kailash Yatra in this part of the journey.
Not only presently, but it was also told by the Director General in the Foreign Affairs Office of China’s TAR, Baimanyangzong that the Chinese government has always been indulged in formulating the varied ways which could ultimately ease the way Kailash Yatris travel.
There were many suggestions provided by former MP Tarun Vijay and other Yatris for Kailash Yatra in respect to the problems faced by Kailash Yatra pilgrims. They said that taking holy dips in Lake Mansarovar should be allowed. Apart from that, he also suggested that the pilgrims must also be facilitated with a special travel facility with no need of any passport.
While replying to these suggestions, Chinese Embassy’s Minister Li Bijian said that in order to maintain the environment and avoiding environmental issues, a dip is not allowed in Lake Mansarovar. However, the pilgrims are allowed to carry this lake’s water back to their home. Also, he added that this Yatra is undoubtedly one of the best ways for maintaining the ties between India and China.
Baimanyangzong said that many Indian visas were extended during the landslide that occurred on India’s side in 2018. Also, as confirmed by her, China’s 12th Five-Year Plan and 13th Five-Year Plan have also focused on improving TAR’s infrastructure through the prominent monetary allocations.
A very significant portion of the route of Kailash Manasarovar has been constructed by the BRO personnel nearby Uttarakhand’s Nepal Border and its construction has attained a good number of praises from Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The Border Road Association has done a great work in the completion of this route that was not formulated since many years.
The portion of the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra’s route that is considered to be the most important one lies between Tawaghat to Lipulekh pass via Ghatiabagarh and has been finally made by BRO that is continually indulged in the construction of Kailash Mansarovar Yatra routes.
Defence Minister Sitharaman admired this action by tweeting through his official Twitter Instagram handle notifying that Jan 15, 2019 has proved to be a crucial milestone since BRO is successful in linking Lakhanpur and Najang. This road connectivity of Dharchula Sub- Division of Uttarakhand with Nepal is highly beneficial for the chicken neck corridor since the sole alternative route was nothing but a mule track spotted below the new road alignment.
This road connectivity is surely going to be prominent as a boon for the people since it would undoubtedly facilitate an unhindered access to civil population that is known to be the one belonging to Malpa, Lamari, Buddhi, Chiyalekh, Garbhadhar, Gunji, Kutti and Nabhidang villages tucked in Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh district. Apart from this, this construction is also going to lead as an all-time connectivity with the Indian troops who are working in China border’s Vyas valley. As notified, this task has been assigned to the Project Hirak of the Border Roads Organisation.
The Department of Roads has been notified by China that the significant task of upgrading Galchhi-Trishuli-Rasuwa-gadhi highway’s 18-km Syabrubesi-Rasuwa-gadhi section is going to commence really soon. This section is considered as the most favoured north-south trade route that is responsible for the linkage of Nepal with its neighbours belonging to the North.
Also, as confirmed by the Chinese Commerce Ministry, a professional contractor has been authorized to manage and start the same task. The representatives are going to start the work of Syabrubesi road soon after their arrival in some days at the construction site and the same has been finalised when the chief of the Foreign Cooperation Branch at the department, Keshav Kumar Sharma told that he has received an e-mail from the Chinese officials in which they have ensured their arrival in a shorter span of time (may be in a week).
The main aim of the Chinese assistance that will be supporting in the road’s construction is to transform the Syabrubesi-Rasuwa-gadhi section of the 82-km highway into a well-maintained 8-metre-wide, an all-weather and a double-lane highway. As ensured, the completion of this procedure and the construction is going to take a tenure of approximately three years.
With the sole aim of upgrading the highway that was bridging up the gap between two countries by connecting them with each other, China and Nepal joined hands with each other many years before. Also, a bilateral assistance pact was signed between them in December 2016 that was worth Rs15.7 billion (RMB 1 billion) whose portion was used for the improvement in the condition of the Syabrubesi-Rasuwagadhi road. This agreement was facilitated by Nepal to China’s ambassador Leela Mani Paudyal as well as Chinese vice-minister for commerce Zhang Xiangchen.
According to Devkota, there exists a significant need to repair the damaged parts of the road which were affected during last year’s landslides and once the task of repairing concludes, the appointment of the contractor shall be facilitated. The upgrading of the road has to be prioritised keeping the strategic significance in view. As expected, the aim of completing at least 30 km has to be achieved by April 2019 and this shall undoubtedly increase the trade between Nepal as well as China.
A law has been duly signed by President Donald Trump with the main intention of punishing those officials from China who are restricting American journalists’, citizens’ as well as officials’ access to the Tibetan regions especially in China’s far west. These areas are known for the riots as well as the protests which took place here during the bygone year for ages against the Chinese rule and are also less populated. Apart from this, the political situation here is quite delicate which has let the central and local security officials keep a tight watch on these regions.
As notified, the restrictions for having an access to these areas have even gotten tougher since 2012 after the sights of protests. Thus, foreign diplomats as well as the journalists are not allowed to enter the premises of Central Tibet (Tibet Autonomous Region) as it is banned by the government and the ruling Communist Party until and unless an official permission is taken after experiencing the carefully organized propaganda tours. Also, it has been confirmed that from the past 8 years, only the majorly renowned New York Times has been a part of these kinds of tours which are operated by the Foreign Ministry.
As far as the case of ordinary foreign tourists is concerned who are intending to explore the regions of central Tibet incorporating the beautiful city of Lhasa, these people must be connected with the tour groups here and majorly with the same nationality. Noticing each and every thing of the scenario here, the American law has been enacted by President Trump who with it is intending to facilitate a reciprocal Access to Tibet Act. Also, he has asked state’s secretary for a report having a capability of laying out of the limit that is given to the Americans by the Chinese officials visiting Central Tibet and submit it within the tenure of approximately 3 months (90 days). Once done, the secretary has to select the China officials who stand responsible for the restricted access to visit Central Tibet or are barring from the attainment of visas to US. This assessment has to done within every five years by state’s secretary.
Representative Jim McGovern, Democrat of Massachusetts and the bill’s House sponsor has expressed through a written statement that the human rights have continually been masked by the Chinese authorities and have also been violated due through their act of restricting the activities of travelling to the Tibet Autonomous region. As said by other renowned figures such as the Matteo Mecacci who is the president of the International Campaign for Tibet as well as Mr. McGovern, this law has paved the way for other countries to follow the same and also this step is much closer to punishing those China officials who are restricting the access of American nationals and tourists to Central Tibet.
We are here to help you for planning a trip to Kailash Mansarovar, Adi Kailash Om Parvat, Char Dham, Muktinath Temple, and many more places of great religious importance. To join one of our group tours or to start planning your tailor-made tour with the help of our travel advisors, please contact us at 8800750030 (Indian Travellers) or 0091-8800740030 (NRI & all Non Indian Passport holders).
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