Himachal aims to develop Lahaul-Spiti as an eco-tourism hub

Published on : Tuesday, March 9, 2021

By making sure year round road connectivity via the newly opened 9.2-kms long horseshoe-shaped single-tube Atal Tunnel – one of the most strategically important infrastructure projects underneath the imposing Rohtang Pass, towards the landlocked Lahaul Valley in Himachal Pradesh, the state government now aims to develop it as an eco-tourism hub.

Earlier, every winter, 20,000 people of Lahaul in Lahaul-Spiti district used to remain cut off from the rest of the country. The opening of the tunnel on October 3 last year by Prime Minister Narendra Modi brought the scenic valley close to the rest of the world.

Hence, in order to tap its tourism prospective to the fullest, Himachal Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur in the budget proposals for 2021-22 announced that a tourist information center, along with an art, culture and adventure sport center will be set up at Sissu, located on the Manali-Leh highway.

The Chief Minister also proposed to develop wayside amenities in Udaipur, Jispa and Kaza. For promoting skiing, a new site in the Lahaul Valley will be developed. A skating rink is also expected to be built there. In the Spiti Valley, all facilities will be provided to promote ice hockey.

Thakur said that youth of the district would be trained for self-employment in tourism along with improvement of an indoor stadium in Kaza as high-altitude mountain training center.

This year, the national tribal festival will be held in Lahaul in August.
The Atal Tunnel, which has shortened the distance between Manali and Keylong, the headquarters of Lahaul-Spiti by 46 kms, reduces the travel time by almost three hours. The tunnel has also ensured all-weather connectivity to Lahaul.

Before the tunnel was built, the Rohtang Pass was the only entryway between Lahaul and Manali. The pass normally remained closed for five months every winter due to heavy snowfall.

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