About 1,000 tourists were stranded on the way to Changu Lake, 40 km from here, following snowstorm dipping the mercury to minus 15 degree Celsius, Army sources said.
Lt Col Amit Sharma, in-charge of Army unit near Changu Lake, said, "Army personnel have begun rescue operations for the tourists, mostly south Indians, and provided them shelter, food and medicine in Army transit camps and officers' quarters since yesterday."
The Changu Lake, most popular tourist spot in Sikkim, was frozen as a result of the snowfall.
The blizzard hit the tourists at around 1 pm on Friday when 218 vehicles carrying them got stranded in between Sherethang and Changu Lake on Gangtok-Nathu La highway.
As clouds dispersed this morning, the tourists were slowly returning to Gangtok which witnessed the coldest day of the season with mercury reading 7.1 degree Celsius.