Congress president Rahul Gandhi is all set to undertake the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra to the holy shrine of Lord Shiva located near the Kailash Mountain starting Friday. According to multiple media reports, Rahul could embark on the pilgrimage on August 31 or September 1. In the course of the Karnataka eletions, Rahul had expressed his wish to undertake a pilgrimage to the holy shrine of Lord Shiva which falls in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China. Rahul's statement came following a mishap in an aircraft that he was travelling in on his way to Karnataka for campaigning. In April this year, Rahul's 10-seater Dassault Falcon 2000 aircraft (VY-AVH) had suffered an 'unexplained malfunction' when it took a sudden nosedive of around 8,000 feet while flying from Hubballi in Karnataka to Delhi. Addressing a rally later, Rahul said that once his aircraft was caught in the mishap, he thought that it was the end, but he survived and decided to visit the Kailash Mansarovar. "I was in the aircraft. I thought it was the end. Then, a second thought came to my mind - I want to visit Kailash. I want to go to Kailash Mansarovar. So, I would seek 10-15 days of leave from you after the Karnataka elections so that I can go there and come back,\u201d he had said. The yatra is conducted by the Ministry of External Affairs every year. This year, the yatra had begun on June 8 and will culminate on September 8. Earlier, a major controversy had erupted when the Congress party had alleged that Rahul's request to undertake a yatra to the Kailash Mansarovar was declined by the MEA. However, the MEA on its part had claimed that Rahul never made a formal plea seeking permission embark on a pilgrimage to the Lord Shiva's shrine. There are two routes of the yatra. While the route through Lipulekh Pass in Uttarakhand involves some trekking and costs about Rs 1.6 lakh per person, the second route through Nathu La Pass in Sikkim costs around Rs 2 lakh person as it is more motorable and thus, suits senior citizens. The duration of Lipulekh Pass route is 24 days whereas the duration of pilgrimage through Nathu La Pass is 21 days. The Nathu La Pass route was opened in 2015.