make the traditional summer pilgrimage to what they hold to be the
home of Lord Shiva in Tibet, forcing thousands to delay or cancel the
trip," reports the New York Times.
This pilgrimage is undertaken by many Hindu's and it's scenic beauty
and divinity put together far surpass it's arduousness.
"Starting in June, Hindus from Nepal and India embark on a multiweek
journey to the 22,000-foot Mount Kailash in the Himalayas and nearby
Lake Mapam Yutso, known in India as Lake Mansarovar. The trip, a
once-in-a-lifetime event for most who make it, includes treacherous
off-road drives and several days of arduous trekking, and is believed
to bring the traveler closer to the divine.
This year, though, the Chinese government is refusing to grant any
visas for travel to the Tibetan sites from Nepal, tour operators in
Nepal say. India's Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that the Chinese
government had cited unspecified "domestic reasons."
At the same time, Beijing has retracted permission previously granted
to Indian pilgrims who were planning to make the trip in early June.
The Olympic torch is scheduled to go through Tibet's capital, Lhasa,
on June 20.
"I was planning for the last 10 years for this trip," said Rajendra
Goyal, 48, a Mumbai-based hardware trader whose trip has been
canceled. Mr. Goyal said he was on a rigorous diet and exercise
schedule for the last two months to make sure he was fit for the
mountain hiking involved.
"A pilgrim is a pilgrim, not an activist or a politician," he said. "I
am going there for religious faith, not to do any violence."
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