This may come as a bummer if you’ve been waiting all year to embark on the popular Chadar Trek. In wake of the rising cases of COVID-19’s new variant Omicron, the government of Ladakh has decided to cancel winter tourist activities. These also include major tourist attractions like the Chadar Trek and snow leopard sighting expeditions, which were lined up for January. By Karan Kaushik
Planning a trek in Ladakh sometime soon? Here’s something you should know
The move comes at a time when the tourism industry in Ladakh was looking forward to an exciting season. A large part of Ladakh’s population is dependent on tourism to make ends meet. The tourism economy of the union territory witnessed a significant recovery during this year’s summer season.
Chadar Trek is one of the most challenging and renowned treks in India and continues to be a huge draw among seasoned trekkers. The 105km long trek is done on the frozen waters of river Zanskar.
Spotting the elusive snow leopard in its natural habitat is also something that adventure and wildlife lovers go to Ladakh for. The expeditions are held in Rupshu valley, which stretches between Tso Moriri and Tso Kar lakes.
Keeping in view the current #COVID19 situation, @DC_Leh @Shrikant_S has issued notification for the suspension of #ChadarTrek 2022, #snowleopard sighting expedition and other #wintertourism activities in Leh district.#Ladakh #discoveryourself @incredibleindia @tourismgoi @ANI pic.twitter.com/XIclMCGZ4R
— Ladakh Tourism (@utladakhtourism) December 23, 2021
According to a news report published in The Times of India, the rising number of coronavirus cases may also lead to the cancellation of the winter festival and apricot blossom festival, which are held in the months of January-February in Ladakh’s Kargil district.
The Ladakh government has been working towards boosting tourism in the union territory. The government had planned several tourism activities with the aim to provide relief to the locals. The pandemic-induced lockdown and a military standoff between India and China have severely impacted the livelihoods of the people of Ladakh.
The union territory has witnessed a surge in coronavirus infections in the winter season, with an infection rate of 195.