Almora, (Uttarakhand), The second batch of pilgrims undertook the annual Kailash Mansarovar Yatra after reaching Uttarakhand’s Almora city on Wednesday, from where they will trek to Lake Mansarovar in Tibet.
The lake and the flanking Mount Kailash, which is the highest mountain in Tibet at 22,022 feet, are revered as the abode of lord Shiva.
Poonam, a pilgrim from Mumbai, said that she was extremely excited to be a part of this 54-member group.
“There is a lot of enthusiasm. I have been preparing for this for the last two months, have packed in shoes, walking sticks and clothes which would be ideal for high altitude temperatures. I have also practised walking for long hours considering the trek which we will have to undertake. I am very excited,” she said.
The trip is organised by the Ministry of External Affairs every year between June and September.
This year, 250 pilgrims in five batches of 50 people each will be undertaking the journey. Pilgrimswere chosen by a draw of lots.
Another pilgrim, 19-year old Kandary Ojha – the youngest pilgrim this year – said that he considered himself privileged that he had been selected for this pilgrimage out of millions others.
“It is all due to my parents that I have been able to undertake this pilgrimage. I am very happy and also I am lucky that out of crores of people I am one of the fortunate ones who were selected for this journey,” said Ojha.
Annually pilgrims come from all over the subcontinent to take ceremonial baths in the water of the lake.