India’s highest mountain peak Mount Kanchendzonga and Kanchendzonga National Park, recently declared a world heritage site, will be promoted as eco-tourism destinations for trekking, mountaineering and other adventure activities. The Sikkim government has formulated plans in association with the Indian Mountaineering Federation (IMF) to start circumambulation tours in the periphery of Mt Kanchendzonga, located at 28,169 feet.
The peak is the guardian deity of Sikkim and is considered sacred by the Sikkimese people. Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling said his government aims to start 15 days’ trekking trails in the Kanchendzonga National Park, home to major mountain peaks, glaciers, lakes, waterfalls and unique flora and fauna. He said the parikrama tour in the periphery of the world heritage site will be promoted mainly during the summer season keeping in view the favourable climatic conditions in the area during these months for trekking, mountaineering and other adventure activities.
Chamling said his government will provide highest level of professional support and logistics to nature lovers during the parikrama tour through the state tourism department and registered tour and travel agencies. The state government has launched a 15-minute helicopter service to witness breathtaking views of Mount Kanchendzonga from Gangtok and the objective is to provide tourists with a magnificent view of the pristine peak, which assumes different colours during different hours of the day, he said.
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According to Chamling, the helicopter service is mainly operational during the peak tourist months of March to May and September to November while the service is available around the year on demand. He said his government has recently opened 14 pristine peaks having height of below 7,000 m in North and West Sikkim with a view to promote nature and eco-tourism in the state and the state government has identified about 15 places from where various peaks can be viewed.