Gangtok, Nov 13 (UNI) Nestled under the shadow of the mighty Khanchendzonga mountain range, the popular trekking route of the Singalila Range Lakes in West Sikkim beckons those with a taste for high-altitude adventure from next year onwards.
The Singalila trek route has been officially declared open for trekkers by the Sikkim government after being suspended for two and a half years.
The route, which criss-crosses pristine valleys and several high altitude lakes, was hugely popular among tourists till it was suspended following reports of crossovers from the Nepal border.
The route, which takes 16 days for a full length trek, runs parallel to the 94 km Nepal-Sikkim border and trekkers also used to cross into the Nepal side for camping purposes.
After trekking activities were suspended, the state government undertook several surveys before finally coming up with a modified trekking route with slight changes that would prevent spillover from the Nepal border.
According to the new ammended route, the Singalila trek would now begin from Uttarey with three exit points in Yuksom, Hillay and Nambu-Darap. The inclusion of Sikkim Megu in the route would enable trekkers to continue their mountain odyssey without having to venture into the Parey Megu of Nepal side.
Among the ten trekking routes in Sikkim, the Singalila trek is the most picturesque one and the trekkers will be able to enjoy a perfect view of the Khanchendzonga, Managing Director of Sikkim Tours and Travels Lokendra Raisaily said.
''People have been waiting for this trek route to be reopened,'' he said.
At Phoktey Dara, which is a part of the route, one can view the world's highest mountain peak Mount Everest and the third highest mountain range Khanchendzonga simultaneously, Mr Raisaily said.
While tour operators expressed their happiness, the reopening of the Singalila trek route also spelt an economic boom for the local people from Uttarey and its surrounding areas. Porters, hotels, yaks and other allied tourism activities will be supplied by these local people.
The best season for the Singalila trek route is September-November and April-June. With the onset of winter in Sikkim, tourism activities are bound to pick up from the April-June season for Singalila trek route, Mr Raisaily said.