New Delhi: The Ministry of Home Affairs on Wednesday announced the opening of 137 mountain peaks situated in Jammu and Kashmir Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Sikkim for mountaineering and trekking. The proposal to open the peaks in the Himalayan states was under consideration of the government, MHA said in an official note.
The list of peaks includes Kanchenjunga located at a height of 8,598 metre and Nepal Peak located at the height of 7,168 metre in Sikkim, Garur Parbat (6,504 m) and Purbi Dunagiri (6,489 m) in Uttarakhand, Mount Kailash (6400 m) in Jammu and Kashmir and Mulkila (6,517 m) in Himachal Pradesh.
"This decision has opened 137 mountain peaks to foreigners desirous of obtaining mountaineering visa for climbing, trekking on these peaks," the official note said.
Speaking to ANI, Minister of Tourism, Prahlad Singh Patel said, "Our long-time demand has been fulfilled finally. I would like to thank our Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah for this. It is not only a great deal for the country but also for foreigners. People across the world must be celebrating the decision."
The Minister said, "Currently, foreigners have to seek permission from the ministries of Defence and Home to climb these peaks. With the government opening them up, foreigners can now directly apply to the Indian Mountaineering Foundation for permits. The decision comes following a proposal from the tourism ministry."
"Prime Minister has also extended e-visa from one year to five years and there also talks to reduce the price of Visa during the peak season from 25 dollars to 10 dollars," Patel added.
Of the 137 peaks, 51 are in Uttarakhand, 24 in Sikkim, 47 in Himachal Pradesh and 15 in Jammu and Kashmir.