India's foreign ministry says China has delayed the start of an annual Hindu pilgrimage to a mountainside shrine in Tibet, citing "domestic reasons."
A foreign ministry statement Tuesday said the Chinese government informed New Delhi it would not be ready for the nearly one-thousand Indian pilgrims before June 21st. The three-week-long pilgrimage was originally expected to begin June first.
China did not give a specific reason for the delay. But security in the region has been tight since China's recent crackdown on anti-government protesters in Tibet and neighboring provinces.
Every year, about a thousand Indians trek across the Himalayas into Tibet to visit the revered Hindu shrine of Kailash Mansarovar. Hindus believe Mount Kailash to be the home of the Hindu god Shiva.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.