Gangtok, Aug 31: Union govt on Saturday has decided in a meeting in Delhi that out of 24 peaks opened for climbing and trekking, now only 10 will be opened in Sikkim.
The welcome move of disallowing climbing on Mount Kanchenjunga and 13 others has come in effect today.
There was a strong protest from the local groups to preserve the sanctity of the holy mountains. One of the major demands of the protesters was to disallow climbing on Mount Kanchenjunga because it huts local’s religious sentiments. Everester Kunzang Gyatso said mountaineers who wish to climb the Kanchenjunga can do it from the Nepal side without hurting locals' religious sentiments. Residents of Sikkim were unhappy with a recent decision of the Centre to open the ‘holy’ Kanchenjunga to foreigners for mountaineering and trekking expeditions. The third highest mountain in the world (8,586m) is worshiped in Sikkim, and the announcement had come in as a rude shock to the indigenous community of the state.
“Religion is priority in many places. And being a mountaineer, I feel that the way we challenge nature, we must also respect it. Sikkim has been built with the blessings of the mountain gods. If you want to climb the Kanchenjunga, you can do so from the Nepal side. In Sikkim, according to religious beliefs, we leave a gap of 10m from the top for any peak, and that becomes our summit,” said Gyatso, who scaled the Everest in 2008. (UNI)