The mountainous region of Ladakh will soon exert a bigger pull on travellers.
As many as 101 out-of-bounds mountains in the frontier region are about to be opened for trekking.
The state tourism department has chosen the peaks and sent the proposal to the defence and home ministries. While the defence ministry has given its go-ahead, the home ministry’s clearance is awaited.
J&K tourism minister Nawang Rigzin Jora told HT that the opening of these peaks for trekking would help the tourism and hotel industries in Ladakh and give a boost to the area’s economy.
The 101 peaks are scattered across Ladakh.
“These mountains are best suited for trekking, and a large number of foreign and domestic tourists would want to trek over them,” Jora said.
Trekkers and Buddhist pilgrims make up the bulk of visitors to Ladakh.
There is more good news for foreign tourists. Many inner-line areas have ceased to be out of bounds for them.
Jora said a meeting held under the chairmanship of the additional secretary (border management) in October decided that Chiktan and Batalik areas, and Turtuk, Pachatanag and Tyakshi areas in Turtuk valley would be opened to foreigners. (Batalik and Turtuk saw action in the 1999 Kargil conflict.)
Foreign tourists will no longer need to get a ‘protected area permit’.