The third batch of Kailash Mansarovar Yatra pilgrims who returned to Gangtok on Wednesday were felicitated by the State Tourism department on Saturday.
Tourism secretary CP Dhakal felicitated the batch of 34 pilgrims and two liaison officers Raman Kumar and Deepak Joshi during the function at a local hotel here.
The Sikkim Tourism Development Corporation (STDC) had organized the felicitation programme after the third batch of pilgrims successfully finished the yatra.
The other two batches had some pilgrims not completing the entire Yatra owing to health reasons.
Tourism secretary Dhakal said the Yatra from Nathu La initiated since 2015 has been renewed this year after its suspension last year due to the border row between India and China. This year, three batches have successfully undertaken the pilgrimage and two more have reached Sikkim to visit Kailash Mansarovar in Tibetan Autonomous Region of China.
On the occasion, the Yatris also put forth suggestion for improvement of the pilgrimage. Liaison officer Raman Kumar said amongst the issues faced were in the acclimatization centre at 15th Mile where better accommodation and food facility can be arranged by the Sikkim government. Similarly, medical aid and doctors should be made easily available and must sensitize the Yatris before they head towards the Chinese side, he said, reports The Sikkim Express.
Yatris in their address expressed their gratitude towards the MEA, Sikkim Tourism, STDC and ITBP for all their help in making the Yatra successful. They also claimed that the route was more accessible than the other two routes from Kathmandu and Leepu Lake from Uttarakhand. They also expressed their desire to travel in Sikkim, which they want the Sikkim Tourism to initiate with MEA to include a short stay and visit in Sikkim as part of KMY tour via Nathu La.