By Our Correspondent Limi, Oct. 17: The number of pilgrims observing the holy Mount Kailash and Mansarovar Lake from Nepali territory has increased this season. The increase is due to the closure of the Hilsa border crossing with China due to the coronavirus pandemic. Funjok Tamang, who has been running a hotel in Tumling, Namkha Gaunpalika-6, informed that 335 people had come to Lapcha to view Kailash and Mansarovar since the first week of September. This is a sharp rise from last year when only 100 pilgrims came to Lapcha in the entire season. “The number of visitors has gone up because of the COVID-19 restrictions and proper promotion that the sacred sites can be viewed from Nepali land,” Tamang said. As the number of domestic tourists arriving in Lapcha increases, so do the earnings of the local hotels. Chairman of Kharpunath Gaunpalika Karna Bahadur Rawal, who himself has viewed the holy mountain and lake from Lapcha, claimed that the number of tourists would greatly increase if a view tower and hotels were built in the area. Along with Rawal, member of the House of Representatives Chakka Bahadur Lama, leader of the opposition party in Karnali State Jiwan Bahadur Shahi, Namkha Gaunpalika chair Bishnu Bahadur Lama and Simkot Gaunpalika chair Padam Bahadur Lama have also visited Lapcha to observe the sacrosanct places. Lapcha is a three to four-day journey from Simkot. The road from Limi to Lapcha is dilapidated though, so the journey is rather uncomfortable. Visitors travel from Simkot to Tumling, stay the night and take a vehicle to Lapcha the next day. Mansarovar Lake and Mount Kailash are clearly visible from Lapcha from the beginning of September until winter when there is snowfall.