Siachen Glacier, world's highest battlefield, open for tourists as Ladakh separates from J&K
Siachen, Oct 21: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday announced that the world's highest battlefield, Siachen Glacier will be opened for tourism purposes.
Adventure enthusiasts can now boast of visiting the highest battlefield in the world.
Taking to Twitter, Singh wrote, "Ladakh has tremendous potential in Tourism. Better connectivity in Ladakh would certainly bring tourists in large numbers. The Siachen area is now open for tourists and Tourism. From Siachen Base Camp to Kumar Post, the entire area has been opened for Tourism purposes.''
Speaking of the border issues with China, Singh said both nations have handled them responsibly and with maturity. China and India have clashed on multiple occasions in the Eastern Ladakh sector.
Until recently, the Indian Army did not allow civilians to access the premises near Siachen Glacier other than the locals who live nearby and serve as porters for the forces. Only select few journalists and enthusiasts have been allowed so far.
The Siachen Glacier, the highest battlefield in the world, is a part of Ladakh, which is now a Union Territory after the Narendra Modi government bifurcated Jammu and Kashmir in August this year.
The Siachen Glacier in the Karakorum range is known as the highest militarized zone in the world where the soldiers have to battle frostbite and high winds. Avalanches and landslides are common at the glacier during the winter and temperatures can drop to as low as minus 60 degrees Celsius.
According to official figure, the Army lost 163 personnel deployed at the glacier, the worlds highest battlefield, during the last 10 years.
India and Pakistan started deploying troops at the strategically key glacier in 1984. The sources said the high-altitude equipment are being divided into two categories. The first lot will be for those deployed in the range of 9,000 feet to 12,000 feet and the second category will be for those guarding the border beyond the heights of 12,000 feet.
According to an ANI report, Army sources have said that Indians visiting Ladakh and nearby places have been requesting for permission to visit famous Kargil war positions as well like the Tiger Hill where the Indian Army fought the Pakistanis.