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Kailash-Manasarovar Yatra - The Requirements

Once the application for the pilgrimage is cleared, the yatri will be intimated to report at the Reception of the Ministry of External Affairs, at Gate No 4 of South Block, Central Secretariat, New Delhi. They are expected to send/bring along with them the following:

1. Passport: Its validity should continue for at least 6 months beyond the scheduled date of return of the yatri.

2. A medical report certifying fitness for trekking at high altitudes. (The Government will conduct more tests) It should contain details of:- haemogram (ESR, TLC, DLC, HB); urine (RE albumin, sugar; microscopic-); stool RE, biochemistry; blood sugar (fasting, PP); urea: creatine, serum bilirubin; blood group; chest X-ray; treadmill test (TMT)

3. Fees: A DD for Rs 2000 in favor of Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam (KMVN) payable at Delhi (KMVN makes all arrangements for the yatra on the Indian side) is to be sent before the yatri's arrival at the MEA for the yatra. Another DD for Rs 6000 (total payment for KMVN is Rs 8,000) will have to be given when one arrives at the MEA. Rs 200, the Chinese visa fee, will have to be paid to the MEA which will arrange it. The yatri should also bring an amount in rupees equivalent of US $ 650 of which US $ 500 will be the foreign exchange to be given to the Chinese authorities for the arrangements they have to make on their side and US $ 150 for the yatri's (pocket money) personal expenses in China. This money should be brought in cash or traveler's cheques. The MEA arranges for the dollars. (These are official figures for the year, 2000).

4. Personal Cash: All arrangements for accommodation, transport, food, medicine etc. are included in the payments already made. One has to pay for anything extra like pony, shopping etc. A mule/pony costs Rs 200 a day and a porter Rs 150. One has to hire them at Mangti for onward journey and at Lipulekh Pass for return journey, if one so desires. The MEA advises that it is better for all to hire them, especially old people. Ponies and porters will not be available at intermediate camps. For any luggage above 25 kg an additional fee will be levied by the Government. Shopping at Taklakot on the Chinese side while returning, of course, has to be within the permissible limits of foreign exchange one is carrying. So also charges for pony, cook or any other expenditure on the Chinese side.

5. Clothing and Equipment: Kailash-Manasarovar is at a height of 16,000 to 19,500 feet. The Indian pilgrimage season is the monsoon (June-Sept). However, it rains less at higher reaches. At the heights the weather is fickle and treacherous. During the day the sun is hot and the skin can get damaged. Woolens and wind cheaters are required to beat the cold winds. Clothing should be light, wind-proof, water-repellent and warm. Each pilgrim is advised to carry the following items: wind-proof jacket - 1, sweaters - 2 full sleeve, monkey cap -1, woolen and leather gloves - 1 pair each, woollen/cotton long johns - 2 pairs, woolen socks - 4 pairs, cotton socks - 4 pairs, jeans/pants -3, shorts -2, shirt/T shirt -6, good quality sun glasses with chain -1, hunting/marching/trekking shoes -2 pairs, straw hat for protection against sun -1, water bottle -1, torch light with two sets of extra cells and bulb - 1, large rain coat-1, belt pouch for camera/money/ medicine/documents - 1, large plastic sheet for water proofing luggage - 1, plate/mug/spoon - 1 set, toilet paper, sun cream lotion for protection from sun-burn - 1, candles, match-box/lighter, multipurpose knife - 1, rubber slippers -1, canvas bags with zips (no suitcases are allowed), walking stick, a bed sheet and pillow covers for personal hygiene (mattress, quilt/ sleeping bag are provided at all camps, camera.

6. Food items each yatri may carry for personal use: The KMVN supplies breakfast, lunch and dinner, and tea twice a day. (For the Chinese side the list appears later). However, each pilgrim may carry some items. The following have been recommended: Biscuits sweet/salty, dry fruits, lemon drops, chocolates, toffees, soup powder, cheese cubes, chewing gum, instant drinks, Electral/glucose.

7. Common items for use during Parikrama (i.e. yatra on the Chinese side): On the Chinese side, food is provided only during the stay at Taklakot. Therefore, for use on the Chinese side, for the 9 days, food items should be carried along with. They may for convenience be purchased from Delhi itself and taken along. Pilgrims of each group can make a combined purchase. The items should be either pre-cooked/partly, pre-cooked or easy to be cooked. As far as possible food should be taken in liquid form. Cooking takes more time at high altitudes. The items recommended are: atta, rice, dal, soyabean nuggets, noodles, soup packets, pre-cooked suji, upma packets, cans of pre-cooked vegetables and dals, salt, spices, milk powder/condensed milk, sugar, corn flakes/oats/dalia, coffee/Bournvita, pre roasted rawa for making suji or halwa, ghee, pooja items for havan and pooja.

8. Medicines: The Uttar Pradesh Government makes medical arrangements along the route on the Indian side. Each camp has medicines and medical equipment. Two medical personnel will accompany each group of pilgrims up to Gunji. From Gunji up to Lipulekh Pass the Indo-Tibetan Border Police will take care of the medical arrangements. It is fatal for those with high blood pressure /diabetes/asthma/heart disease/epilepsy etc. to go to high altitudes. A compulsory medical test is undertaken at the ITBP hospital in New Delhi. Another medical test is done at Gunji. Those found unfit at Gunji are sent back. Money paid already will not be refunded. During the yatra, the accompanying doctor and/the liaison officer can declare a pilgrim unfit and send him back. On the Chinese side, there is no doctor to accomapny the pilgrims during the parikrama. Loose motions, sun burns are common at high altitudes. The following items may be carried: lip salve / vaseline petroleum jelly, multi-vitamin capsules, Vicks Vaporub/Vicks inhaler, vitamin C tablets, Strepsils/Halls, laxative/Isabgol, Digene tablets, Iodex /Relaxyl, crepe bandage/sterile dressing/cotton mool, Dettol, Betadine ointment, analgesic and anti-pyretic such as Crocin, Disprin, Flexon etc., Electral, glucose powder, anti-diarrhoeals.

9. Camera: Those who want to carry one, can do so. The details of the make and serial number of the camera/video camera should be typed along with the yatri's name and the batch number on a sheet of paper and handed over to the MEA authorities. The cameras can be taken inside China; no special permission is required. Since discharge rate is faster at higher altitudes, extra batteries should be carried. Power supply is available till Dharchula, for limited periods, for recharging batteries. So also at Taklakot.

10. Indemnity Bond: The pilgrims are required to sign an indemnity bond on a non-judicial stamp paper of Rs 10 attested by a First Class Magistrate or notary public declaring that the pilgrimage is undertaken at the yatri's own risk. A specimen copy is sent along with the call letter

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