Kathmandu: 38 Indian tourists got to be the first passengers on the mountain flight to the holy Kailash Mansarovar here, on Monday. The chartered flight called the Kailash Mansarovar Darshan Flight, took off from Nepalgunj and gave them a magnificent close view of the holy pilgrim places Mount Kailash and the Mansarovar lake. The view of Mt Kailash was from 27,000 ft. The flight from Shri Airlines took around one and a half hours to complete the trip, Keshav Neupane, regional director of the Siddhartha Business Group that started the venture, told PTI. It had tourists from various Indian cities, including New Delhi, and Mumbai, and many from the states of Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh.
Situated in the Ngari prefecture of the Tibet Autonomous Region, the Kailash Mansarovar pilgrimage is considered the most sacred by Hindus across the world. The two natural sacrosanct places are also revered by Buddhists, Jains, and Tibet's indigenous Bonpa faith. Post the COVID-19 pandemic-induced lockdowns, China opened the Kailash Mansarovar pilgrimage in 2023. However, the massive hike in fees and multiple restrictions on visas, especially for Indian pilgrims, meant that practically the Yatra did not happen.
The flight to Mt Kailash and Mansarovar is cheap, quick, reliable, and safe, Neupane said adding, the next chartered flight will take place in the first week of February. We will try to make it as frequently as possible based on the demand, Naupene said. Mani Lamichhane, director of the Nepal Tourism Board, told PTI that this will help increase border tourism movement. Now, Indians will be able to have a darshan of Mt Kailash and Lake Mansarovar without coming to Kathmandu.
The Indian tourists can feel the divinity without doing much hard work. They don't need to spend days to see Mt. Kailash. They will get to see it within 1.5 hours, he said, adding, A new avenue in tourism has opened up with this flight. The pilgrims going to Kailash Mansarovar Yatra via Nepal have to travel to Kathmandu. But with this flight, they need not go to the Nepal capital. Nepalgunj is barely 200 km northeast of Lucknow in India and accessible by road too.