World’s highest battlefield Siachen now open to tourists

Siachen, trekking, Rajnath Singh
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurates the newly-constructed Colonel Chewang Rinchen Bridge at Shyok River, in Ladakh | PTI Photo

The Siachen Glacier in India, which is the world’s highest battlefield, has now been opened to tourists, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said in Ladakh on Monday (October 21).

The Defence Minister was in Ladakh, along with Army chief Gen. Bipin Rawat, to inaugurate a strategically located bridge across the Shyok River which will provide easy connectivity with the Daulat Beg Oldi sector along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China.

“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,” Rajnath Singh said in a tweet.

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The Indian Army had been allowing expeditions to Siachen in the late 1970s till they came to a total stop in 1984.

The announcement regarding the opening up of Siachen for tourists comes a few days ahead of Ladakh being declared a separate Union Territory on October 31.

In June this year, Rajnath Singh, accompanied by Gen. Rawat, had visited Siachen and praised the “tenacious resolve and unstinting commitment” of the soldiers deployed in the region. He had undertaken an aerial reconnaissance of the Siachen Glacier and interacted with troops at one of the forward posts.

(With inputs from agencies)