Uttarkashi's Gartang Gali opens for tourists after 59 years
The historic Gartang Gali in Nelong valley of Uttarakhand's Uttarkashi district that was witness to Indo-Tibetan border trade at one time has been opened for tourists after 59 years. The 150-meter long stairs of Gartang Gali, a wooden bridge situated at an altitude of 11,000 feet, were reconstructed at a cost of Rs. 64 lakh in July and opened for tourists on Wednesday.
Gartang Gali was closed for tourists after 1962 Indo-China war
A unique specimen of engineering, Gartang Gali built by Pathans from Peshawar 150 years ago, was closed for tourists after the 1962 Indo-China war. Ten people at a time are being allowed to pass through the bridge in compliance with COVID-19 guidelines after it was reopened for tourists on Wednesday after 59 years, Uttarkashi District Magistrate Mayur Dikshit said.
People get panoramic view of Nelong valley from the bridge
Dixit said, "Renovation of the bridge was started in September last year and completed in July this year." Built for trade with Tibet before Independence, the bridge was used for transporting wool, leather garments, and salt to Badahat. People get a panoramic view of Nelong valley from the bridge. Rich in biodiversity and wildlife, the area is home to snow leopards and blue sheep.
It was very challenging to renovate the bridge: Dixit
"It was very challenging to renovate this bridge at such a height, given the extreme weather and high-velocity winds. The laborers were tied with safety ropes while they worked on the bridge," Dixit said as reported by Hindustan Times.
Gartang Gali is emerging as favorite destination for trekking enthusiasts
After the 1962 Indo-China war, the Centre had banned the movement of tourists in the inner line area of Uttarkashi. In 2015, the Centre reopened Nelong valley for tourists. Gartang Gali is emerging as a favorite destination for trekking enthusiasts and locals connected with adventure tourism are benefiting from it, Uttarakhand Tourism Minister Satpal Maharaj said.