Sikkim, June 26: China has denied permission to pilgrims to cross the Nathu La pass thereby disrupting the annual Kailash Mansarovar yatra. Reports suggest that China has declined permission for the first group of around 50 pilgrims to proceed to the Mount Kailash through the Nathu La pass, citing damage to roads due to rains and landslides in the Tibet region.Also Read - Cloudburst : From Jammu And Kashmir to Himachal Pradesh, Watch When And Where Nature’s Fierce Form Was Seen

China has said that it is in touch with India over the issue of Kailash Mansarovar pilgrimage through Nathu La pass in Sikkim. Also Read - Dozens of Tourists Stuck in Himachal Pradesh After Landslides Block Roads

The yatra was flagged off earlier this month by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. The 47 pilgrims, who were stopped by the Chinese officials at the border from proceeding further, have now returned to their respective states, official sources had said last week. Also Read - Chinese TikTok Star Xiao Qiumei Falls to Death While Recording Livestream on a Crane, Video Surfaces

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay had said some difficulties were being experienced in the movement of pilgrims through Nathu La and that India is taking up the matter with China. The development has cast a shadow of uncertainty on the annual yatra as Chinese officials maintained that it would take some time to repair the roads and the Indians would not be able to make the pilgrimage any time soon.

“The pilgrims and the liaison officer were told that because of incessant rainfall the roads in the Chinese side had been washed away in major landslides. So they cannot proceed any further,” a source had said.

The Chinese officials had said they were concerned about the safety of the Indian pilgrims which is why they were stopped from proceeding further.

The first batch of 47 yatris had arrived in Sikkim on June 15. The Sikkim Tourism Development Corporation is the nodal authority for conducting the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra through Nathu La. “Yes, there are some difficulties being experienced in movement of KMY (Kailash Mansarovar Yatra) Yatris via Nathu La. Matter is being discussed with Chinese side,” Baglay had said.

Hundreds of Indian pilgrims undertake Kailash Mansarovar yatra in the Tibetan Autonomous Region of China every year negotiating the mountainous terrain. This year, a total of 350 yatris had registered for the yatra via Nathu La route and they were to travel in seven batches.

With inputs from PTI