Dozens of Indian pilgrims in Nepal today left for Simikot from Nepalgunj on 10 commercial flights as the Kailash-Mansarovar route was re-opened for travellers following improvement in weather conditions.
Now, the regular flights have started operating between Simikot and Nepalganj from yesterday after the weather conditions improved, the sources said.
Dozens of Indian pilgrims today left for Simikot from Nepalgunj on 10 commercial flights. Around one hundred pilgrims had left Simikot and Humla on their way towards Kailash-Mansarovar yesterday, they added.
Meanwhile, all the Indian pilgrims who were stranded this week in Hilsa and Humla areas while returning from Kailash-Mansarovar were airlifted to their respective destinations.
Out of the 165 pilgrims who were stranded in Simikot due to bad weather, 110 were evacuated from the area on Monday and Tuesday following improvement in weather conditions. The remaining 55 were flown to Nepalgunj yesterday, the Indian Embassy sources said.
The pilgrimage to Kailash Mansarovar in Tibetan region of China is considered holy by Hindus, Buddhists and Jains. Every year, hundreds of Indians undertake the 'yatra' which involves trekking under inhospitable conditions.
Last month, more than 1,500 Indians were stranded at various places in Nepal while returning from the Kailash Mansarovar.
There is basic lodging and fooding facilities for about 500 tourists in Simikot. In case of emergency, the Indian Embassy could safely evacuate the stranded pilgrims, sources said.
Following the incident, the Indian government had issued a travel advisory.
The advisory had stated that Simikot and Hilsa are places lacking good medical and lodging facilities and therefore, pilgrims should get themselves medically examined before starting their pilgrimage and also carry medicines for up to a period of one month.
Simikot and Hilsa are connected to the rest of the world only by small aircraft or helicopters and there is no other way to travel in and out of these places.
These small aircraft or helicopters can operate only when the weather is absolutely clear, as the terrain and route is extremely dangerous.
The embassy has deputed its representatives at Hilsa, Simikot and Humla for monitoring and taking action in case of emergency.
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