(Last Updated on : 15/03/2019)
Lipulekh is a Himalayan Pass which is located in Uttarakhand
on the border between India and Tibet, China. The southern side of the pass is controlled by India but claimed by Nepal. It has been used since ancient times by traders, mendicants and pilgrims transiting between India and Tibet. The Kailash Mansarovar Yatra
, a Hinduism pilgrimage
to Mount Kailash and Lake Mansarovar, traverses this pass. It is also used by Mansarovar pilgrims.
Location of Lipulekh Pass
Lipulekh Pass is situated at an elevation of 5,200 m in the Pithoragarh district
of Uttarakhand. This pass connects the Kumaon region
of Uttarakhand with the old trading town of Taklakot in Tibet.
Route of Lipulekh Pass
The road to the Lipulekh Pass is under construction. More than 50 kilometres stretches of the Lipulekh pass has been constructed. Located in the Himalayas
, the road to the summit is asphalted. The climb is very dreadful with a high degree of steepness. Due to short supply of oxygen near the pass, most people feel altitude sickness at around 2,500-2,800 meters.
India-China Trading Post at Lipulekh Pass
The Lipulekh Pass is the first Indian border post that was opened for trade
with China in 1992. This was followed by the opening of Shipki La Pass, Himachal Pradesh
in 1994 and Nathu La Pass
in 2006. Presently, Lipulekh Pass is open for cross-border trade every year from June through September.
The items cleared for export from India include gur, misri, Tobacco
, Fafar flour, Coffee
, Vegetable oil, ghee
and various miscellaneous consumable items, whereas the main imports into India include Sheep Wool, Passam, Sheep, Goats, borax, Yak tails, Chhirbi (butter) and raw Silk
India-China BPM (Border Personnel Meeting) Point at Lipulekh Pass
In 2014, India and China discussed using the pass as an additional official Border Personnel Meeting point between the Indian Army
and the Peoples Liberation Army of China for regular consultations and interactions between the two armies to improve relations.
Political Issues on Lipulekh Pass
After the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi
s visit to China in 2015, India and China agreed to open a trading post in Lipulekh, which was not welcomed by Nepal. Nepal now intends to solve the issue via diplomatic means with China and India. Nepal further considered the decision taken by the neighbouring nations as a hegemonic step.