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NCR youth embarks on foot journey to Mount Kailash

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LUCKNOW, May 28 (PTI): Inspired by Shihab Chottur, a Keralite who travelled a distance of more than 8,000 kilometres on foot to perform Hajj at Mecca, a young man has embarked on a similar journey to Mount Kailash in the Tibet region from Uttar Pradesh.

Shivam Yadav, a 23-year-old resident of Surajpur in Greater Noida in the National Capital Region (NCR), who began his journey on May 11, is heading towards Bahraich from Ayodhya via Gonda on Sunday from where he will enter Nepal through the Rupediha border.

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When asked whether he has taken permission from the Indian and Chinese governments before setting out on this journey, he said, “No. But I am confident that my faith will take me to the abode of Lord Shankar.”

To enter China and travel to the Mount Kailash region, a Chinese visa along with a Tibet Travel Permit is mandatory as the mountain is located in the farthest corner of Tibet, which is a restricted area.

Hundreds of Indian pilgrims undertake Kailash Mansarovar yatra in the Tibetan Autonomous Region of China every year negotiating the mountainous terrain. The pilgrimage is organised by the Ministry of External Affairs from June to September through two different routes — Lipulekh Pass in Uttarakhand and Nathu La Pass in Sikkim.

Yadav said, initially, Pakistan had refused to give Visa to Chottur as well, but later, the neighbouring country had to kneel before his devotion.

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Chottur, who started his journey from Malappuram in Kerala in June last year, entered Pakistan via the Wagah border on February 7. He was welcomed by Sarwar Taj, who had filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court on his behalf, and Bhagat Singh Memorial Foundation Pakistan chairman Imtiaz Rashid Qureshi.

The 29-year-old has recently entered Saudi Arabia.

Yadav, who calls Chottur his guru, is confident that seeing his devotion and faith, China will not stop him.

His mother Manju said Shivam has been an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva since childhood and that is why when he sought her permission to trek to Mount Kailash, she could not stop him despite knowing the risks and difficulties involved in the 1,850-kilometre journey.

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Yadav covered a distance of 600 kilometres to Ayodhya, where he stopped to visit the Ram Temple.

Shivam, who left his house with a few clothes and some other essential items, shared that he is getting help from people at every stop on the way.

“Everyone who hears about my story comes forward to help me in whatever capacity possible,” he said.

Yadav said, he often stays at dhabas for the night and sets out on his journey early in the morning, adding that he covers an average of 35 to 40 kilometres daily.


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