China: New land route opened for Indian pilgrims to Tibet

China: New land route opened for Indian pilgrims to Tibet

China has inaugurated a new land crossing into Tibet for Indian pilgrims who wish to visit one of the holiest sites in both Hinduism and Buddhism, as the two countries seek to set aside differences and improve ties.

Groups of pilgrims can now enter Tibet via a Himalayan pass for a 12-day trip to Mount Kailash — a trip that also takes in a holy lake, according to China’s official Xinhua news agency.

Few Indian pilgrims ever make it to Mount Kailash despite its significance, not only because of its remoteness but also because of difficulties in getting visas for China’s tightly controlled region of Tibet.

China and India have growing commercial links and long historical ties, but their recent history has been overshadowed by suspicion, and they have yet to sort out a festering border dispute.

China and India proposed measures to resolve the border issues while Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in Beijing in May 2015. Beijing has sought to clear obstacles to a relationship that it says could change the international political order.  Reuters