A year after allowing domestic tourists to visit various unexplored areas in Leh district, the Jammu & Kashmir government has opened them for foreigners as well. “A formal notification relaxing Protected Area Permit (PAP) regime for allowing foreigners to visit the hitherto restricted areas in the district was issued by state’s Home Department,” said a spokesman of the Home Department in Jammu on Monday.
“By virtue of this notification, foreign tourists will now be permitted to visit a number of unexplored areas like Panamik, Phukpochey, Hargam, Taksha, Sasoma, Chaglung, Kobet, Aranu, Khemi, Warshi, including Yarma Gompa/ Yarma Gonbo Monastery of the Nubra Valley in Leh district,” he added.
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These areas were thrown open for the local tourists in 2015 creating a positive impact on the life and livelihood of the people residing in these remote areas. Situated at the average altitude of 10,000 feet, the Nubra Valley is known for its breathtaking beauty, gushing rivers, Buddhist monasteries and Pashmina goat rearing.
The Home Department spokesman said that after taking note of the positive dividends emanating from the initiative, and to further augment the opportunities of employment and income generation for the local youth, the state government has decided to open up the area for ‘foreign tourists’ as well.
“With this decision, a long pending demand of the people of the Nubra Valley and Ladakh has been fulfilled, which in effect, is expected to give considerable boost to the local economy of Nubra Valley,” he said adding the flow of foreign tourists to the new areas from Panamik to Warshi, is expected to substantially enhance the earnings of the people, and transform their socio-economic profile.
Pointing out that Ladakh has, over the years, emerged as a prime tourist destination, and is attracting both domestic and foreign tourists in significant numbers, the spokesman said that the latest decision of the state government is a continuation of its policy to further enhance footfall of tourists in Ladakh region and its commitment to expand the sphere of economic opportunities for the people in every nook and corner of the state.