A Sino-Indian-Nepalese collaboration of Himalayan proportions

Madhuban Foods by Sumit Partap Gupta from Jammu bridges nations with its catering   
      service for the Kailash Yatra, becoming the first Indian company to do so in China

Karnataka, Bengaluru July 23, 2018: A landmark decision was recently made whereby a single provider-Madhuban Foods was mandated to deliver food for the entire Kailash yatra on behalf of the organisers that issue permits to pilgrims and tourists globally. A robust collaboration was formed between India, Nepal and China to conduct the pilgrimage season with a never-before experience of ‘sattvic’ food to the lakhs of pilgrims expected this year and onwards.

Mr. Prakash Shreshtha, President AKTON (Association of Kailash Tour Operators) and Mg. Director Explore Kailash Treks Pvt. Ltd, Nepal joined hands with Mr. Sumit Partap Gupta, the Managing Director of Madhuban Foods. In this Mr. Prakash Shrestha who is the Chief Coordinator for the project between all the parties involved is supported by all AKTON members to oversee the logistics support for moving all goods and raw materials to China whereas the operations on ground will be led by Mr. Sumit Partap Gupta of Madhuban Foods.

The Kailash Mansarovar yatra is a major boost to the Nepalese economy each year. Mr. Prakash Shrestha has been playing a major role in the past, having served the pilgrims for over 25 years and has hugely contributed in the collaboration between all three countries India, China and Nepal involved in the project. He points out that Chefs from India understand the Indian taste better and it is crucial that pilgrims are served food compatible to their food habits. In the arduous terrain of the yatra, when the pilgrims eat well, they shall be able to complete the pilgrimage with complete satisfaction. Better food and a professionally curated and standardised service will go a long way in creating influx of pilgrims, thereby creation of more job opportunities in Nepal.

China has collaborated with India and Nepal for the first time this year in a unique exercise to provide the right kind of food that is desired by Indian pilgrims who embark the Kailash yatra. It not only is a feather in the glorious cap of Indo-China relations, it is also an accomplishment of strongest ties ever in the history of the two great nations.

Mr. Wan Quan Lin CEO of China-India Pilgrims Service Centre (CIPSC) stresses this pathbreaking collaboration addresses the focus and intent to serve fresh, nutritious and healthy food to all the pilgrims coming for the pilgrimage. Mr. Wan points out, “China has provided excellent roads, hotels and other facilities for the pilgrimage. This collaboration between India, China and Nepal evolves our service to the next level of excellence, ensuring vital meals to every pilgrim curated for their palate and health.

Mr. Wan further mentions in the past years the operations pertaining to serving food to the yatris was restricted to the concept of moving kitchens. The kitchens were temporarily set wherever the group used to take halt. Once the pilgrim group reached their halting destination, the moving kitchen would then need to be set up, causing delay to the yatris who would be exhausted due to the rarefied air, and the arduousness. Most yatris often would sleep and rather than wait for the food to get ready. But now, pilgrims get hot and hygienic food immediately upon their arrival even when they land beyond midnight until 2am!

Furthermore, extensive arrangements have been made for packed lunches in specially designed insulated meal boxes that can carry meals along with fruit and packed fruit juices. He also appreciated the effort on the part of the team where they are providing jobs to local unemployed youngsters from the local community for greater participation and upliftment.
Sumit Partap Gupta has experienced the Kailash yatra for several year and is familiar with the difficulties that the operation presents. He is a ‘son of the soil’ from Jammu and explains that the operations are being conducted in harsh weather and hostile terrain. Provisions, groceries, vegetables as well as trained manpower, fuel, utensils, equipment and accessories needed to be transported to the remote locations enroute the Yatra to make the catering operations even possible. He is constantly travelling the route to ensure that the seven kitchens that undertake the operations are equipped and ready to serve hot and nutritious food to the tired devout, round the clock every day.

With a closer collaboration between the farmers and traders in China and Nepal, Madhuban Foods visualises a great opportunity to step up demand in such that fresh vegetables, fruits, provisions and groceries are available at reasonable rates thereby alluding to (a) increased business to locals, and (b) nutritious and healthy food made possible to the pilgrims, thereby enhancing the overall appeal of the pilgrimage, which will directly affect the efforts of the Chinese officials and Nepalese partners.

The cuisine served enroute the Yatra is as per Sattvic culinary norms. All aspects of this cuisine, that are being successfully implemented in the Sattvic kitchens of the group at Katra, Gurugram and Shirdi are being implemented with care and perseverance at the kitchens that have been set up in the routes along the Kailash Mansarovar pilgrimage. 

Mr. Sumit Partap Gupta further explains that the menus for lunches and dinners at the buffet spreads set up each day for the pilgrims have been planned in such that they replenish the physical strength required for the arduous trek. The team has engaged with team of noted Nutritionists to plan the menus accordingly, in such that the pilgrims are not only strengthened mentally to complete the yatra safely, they are also nourished with requisite nutrition essential in the low oxygen high altitude terrain.

Last year approximately 20,000 pilgrims visited the Kailash Mansarovar yatra. This year, after over 10 weeks of continuous operations, Madhuban Foods has served over 6700 pilgrims. The difference between the years earlier and now is that this year, the yatris enjoy carefully crafted nutritious buffet spreads, served with passion from the heart and prayer to the Lord on the lips!