100 Restricted Peaks In Ladakh To Be Thrown Open For Tourists4 January 2010
The Economic Times
Jammu: Ladakh may soon become a trekkers' paradise with the Defence Ministry giving its nod for throwing open over 100 peaks in restricted areas for mountaineers. 'We expect that 101 peaks in restricted areas will be thrown open for mountaineers and trekkers in Ladakh soon this year. In this regard, the Defence Ministry has already given its approval for starting trekking to these peaks', Jammu and Kashmir Minister for Tourism, Rigzin Jora told PTI here today. Jora said they are seeking the Home Ministry's clearance for the same. 'We urge the Home Ministry to speed up the process for approval.' 'Lakdah will also become a trekkers's paradise after the start of mountaineering to these peaks. It is already a top destination for foreigners. The opening up of the peaks would give a multi-fold economic boost to the state in the tourism sector,' Jora said. The Centre had already opened up various out-of bounds and inner-line areas - Chiktan, Batalik, Turtuk, Pachatanag and Tyakshi - in Ladakh for foreigners as Home Ministry and Defence Ministry had given clearance for throwing open the protected areas. Under current guidelines, any mountain expedition team has to seek permission from Ministries of Defence and Home besides Indian Mountaineering Federation (IMF). However, after the peaks are thrown open to the public, the mountaineers have to register only with IMF. All these peaks are located close to the Sino-Indian and Indo-Pak border in Ladakh region in Jammu and Kashmir. The peaks to be opened for trekking and mountaineering range in the height of 3000 meters to 7877 meters mostly in Eastern Karakoram region of Ladakh in Nubru, Turtuk, Pongang valley areas in Ladakh. They include the highest 7877 meters high Kun peak in Panikar belt of Kargil, Saser Kangri (7415 m), Saer Kangri-11 (7513 m), Saser Kangri-111 (7495 m), Mamostong, Rimpo Group, Apsaras, Arjuna, Barmal, Brammah, Brammah's wife, Advasol, Barmal, Barnaj, Cathedral, Chapra, Crooked finger, Droikant, Flat top, Eiger, Gulpal Kangri, Hangshu, Haptal,Lhalung Durung, Matho Kangri, Nun, Parha Kangri, Pinnacle, Shivling, Tanak, White Needle, z-3 hill and Z-1 peak. Ladakh, also called moonland, has always attracted a large number of foreigners. Of the nearly 60,000 tourists that visited Ladakh in 2009, nearly 34,000 were foreigners and rest 26,000 were domestic tourists.