Khanchendzonga trekking ends with ringing endorsement

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Soreng, (West Sikkim), May 27 (UNI) The Khangchendzonga International Trekking programme organized by Sikkim tourism department has fetched a ringing endorsement from the 155 tourists, who participated in the mesmerizing trek along the foothills of the world third highest mountain.

''It was a perfect trek,'' summed up Igal Bumagin, an Israeli who was in ten-day trek that started from the Soreng base camp.

A total of 53 foreign and 102 domestic tourists participated in the month-long trekking odyssey that ended yesterday..

''I enjoyed the trek and was fortunate to see Mt Everest, truly once in a lifetime event,'' said Natahe Melville, an Australian.

The USP of the Khangchendzonga International Trekking was that one can view the world highest and third highest peak from one landscape during the trek, popularly known as 'Singalila' trek.

People trekked along the trails leading up to the imposing 13,200 ft foothills of the majestic Kanchendzonga range crossing serene valleys of Barsey Rhododendron and Wildlife Sanctuary in full bloom.

During a valedictory function organized last evening at Soreng, Mahmood Ali, a Canadian, said his group was enthralled by the sight of teeming forests and natural beauty of Sikkim.

Tourism Minister R B Subba said that around five lakh tourists have already visited Sikkim this May-April season alone with the maximum of them heading towards Gangtok stretching the carrying capacity of the hill town.

''This is an effort to decongest tourism traffic from Gangtok to other parts of the state,'' Mr Subba said.

However, with rain playing spoilsport for some trekking groups to experience this sight, Mr Subba expressed hopes that the tourists will come back to fulfill this dream.

''Please keep your dreams alive and come to Sikkim in future'', he added.

A six-member team from Arunachal Pradesh tourism stakeholders led by state tourism secretary Bandana Deori also participated in the expedition.

''This have been a meaningful experience and I will go back and try to follow Sikkim,'' Ms Deori said.

UNI BGB PP RP AS1718

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