Mountain climbing for foreigners visiting India could get easier. The government is considering to introduce a new category of visa —
called mountaineering or `X-visa’ for foreign tourists. Foreigners coming to India with X-visas would be allowed to trek mountain ranges and peaks that are forbidden for them so far, tourism secretary Sujit Banerjee said.
“The X-visa holders would get inner line permits,” he told ET. The fee for the proposed visa would be slightly lower than the normal tourist visas. The proposed visa holders can also stay for a longer period.
The government is also looking at opening more peaks in the Himalayas for trekking, a bid to satiate rising appetite of foreign mountaineers to scale new heights in remote corners of the country. Trekkers could now also use global positioning system (GPS) and satellite phones (currently banned) in the forbidden ranges falling in Indo-Pak, Indo-Tibet and Indo-China borders, which cover picturesque sites in Ladakh, J&K and Himachal Pardesh.
The tourism ministry has sent a note to the home ministry proposing to allow such a visa for foreign mountaineers. The policy is, at present being vetted by the ministry of home, which would look into the security aspects of allowing such a move. At present, tourists are required to seek special permission from government authorities for trekking certain peaks, which normally takes long time owing to tourists being subject to retinue of mandatory approvals from both centre and state.
HIMALAYAS CLOSED FOR SERIOUS TREKS AND CLIMBS
Yes, weather changes and sudden snowfalls have closed MANALI- LEH route and with this serious high altitude treks of Ladakh, zanskar, Lahaul and Spiti have closed. Himachal Pradesh too is feeling brunt of sudden change in weather and inclusing KINNER KAILASH CIRCUIT, all tough options have been closed by HIMADVENTURES.
Trekkers and travellers coming to India are welcome to explore lesser known region of SAHYADRI MOUNTAINS in Central India which is home to Tribal villages, wildlife regions and ancient caves and temples.You can reach by train - ONE DAY JOURNEY from DELHI or land up in Mumbai.