Picture Gallery Others Day after row, Sushma Swaraj flags off first batch for Kailash Mansarovar pilgrims Sushma Swaraj flagged off the the first batch of Kailash Mansarover Yatris, as they will take a new route via Nathu La pass. In her first public appearance after the Lalit Modi travel documents row erupted, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, on Tuesday (June 16), flagged off the first batch of pilgrims for the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra in the Tibetan Autonomous Region of China. This set of pilgrims will take a new route via the Nathu La pass, announced by Chinese President Xi Jinping during his visit last September. The new route through the Himalayan pass of Nathu La, 4,000 metres above sea level, will facilitate more comfortable travel for the Indian pilgrims, especially the elderly, by bus. The earlier route was via Lipulekh Pass in Uttarakhand. A total of 18 batches, each comprising around 60 pilgrims, will visit Kailash Mansoravar through the existing route while five batches having 50 pilgrims each will visit it through the newly opened route. The first batch of pilgrims undertaking the annual pilgrimage through the existing route of Lipulekh Pass in Uttarakhand was flagged off by Swaraj on June 11.