Registration for Kailash Manasarovar Yatra, organised by the Ministry of External Affairs, commenced on Tuesday.

This year, the yatra is scheduled from 8 June to 8 September through two routes. Applicants for the yatra must be at least 18 years old and not more than 70 years on 1 January 2019 are eligible to apply. The last date for registration is 9 May, an MEA release said.

There are two routes for this yatra. The route through Lipulekh Pass (Uttarakhand), which involves some trekking, is estimated to cost about Rs 1.8 lakh per person. It will be conducted in 18 batches of 60 pilgrims each. The duration of the yatra is 24 days for each batch including 3 days in Delhi for preparatory work.

This route passes through important sites like Narayan Ashram and Patal Bhuvaneshwar. Pilgrims can also see the scenic beauty of Chialekh Valley or the “Om Parvat” which has the natural occurrence of snow in the shape of “Om” on this mountain.

The route through Nathu La Pass (Sikkim) is motorable and suitable for senior citizens unable to undertake arduous trekking. From Gangtok, the route passes through scenic places like Hangu Lake and the vast landscape of the Tibetan plateau. It is estimated to cost about Rs 2.5 lakh per person and duration would be 21 days, including 3 days in Delhi for preparatory work.

This year 10 batches of 50 pilgrims each are scheduled for this route.

As in previous years, first-time applicants, medical doctors, and married couples would have priority. Senior citizens would have priority on the Nathu La route if they opt for it. Two persons may apply and undertake the yatra together subject to conditions. Pilgrims can either select both routes indicating priority or select only one of the routes. They will be allotted a route and batch through a computerised draw of lots.

Keeping in line with the Government of India’s push for the digital mode of interaction with the public, registration for this yatra on the website https://kmy.gov.in is a fully online process.

Selection of applicants will be through a fair computer-generated, random, gender-balanced selection process. Applicants will be notified of their selection after the computerised draw through automated email or SMS, the release added.