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Mansarovar ordeal: Over 500 India pilgrims await flights


Kathmandu, The ordeal of Indian pilgrims returning from Kailash Mansarovar in Tibet is still not over as more than 500 of them are still awaiting for their flights at Hilsa, the border point between Nepal and China, and Simikot, the district headquarters of Humla, according to a report in The Kathmandu Post on Thursday.The District Police Office said hundreds of people are still at Simikot awaiting their flights. Inclement weather had disrupted the flights to and from the district until Monday. The weather improved from Tuesday onwards. Two hundred and two pilgrims were airlifted from Hilsa and brought to Simikot while 277 pilgrims boarded flights from Simikot and landed at Nepalgunj and Surkhet on Wednesday. On Tuesday, 150 pilgrims were airlifted from Simikot to Nepalgunj and 250 were flown from Hilsa to Simikot.Hundreds of Indian pilgrims who were returning from Kailash Mansarovar had been caught in a bad weather since Saturday. Altitude sickness has become a major concern for those still waiting for their flights. Eight pilgrims have already died of altitude-related illness this year. Twenty Mansarovar pilgrims had died last year. Kailash Mansarovar is situated 5,950 metres above the sea level. It takes three days to complete the 52km Mansarovar circuit. Most altitude-related deaths take place on this circuit, said CN Pandey, a travel agency operator. As many as 25,000 Indian pilgrims are expected to visit Kailash Mansarovar this year.

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