Like every year, the beautiful sight of the snow-capped mountain of Kangchenjunga – the third-highest mountain in the world – is now clearly visible from different places in Tetulia upazila of Panchagarh, attracting a large number of tourists from all over the country.
Local people said the peak of Kangchenjunga, located between India's Sikkim and Nepal, became visible from 11 to 14 September for the first time this year and later it disappeared as the sky became cloudy, but was visible again from 9 November.
Tetulia Meteorological Centre Officer-in-Charge, Russel Shah, said the mountains have been visible recently due to less dust in the air and clear, cloudless skies.
As news and beautiful pictures of the mountains went viral, tourists from all over the country started flocking to Tetulia to enjoy the beauty of Kangchenjunga in winter. Many people are even booking government and private rest houses in the district in advance.
Tasnim Ibnat Moon and Afia Mobashwira, students of Hajee Danesh University of Science and Technology, Dinajpur, who have come here to see the mountains, said, "The spectacular colours of the mountain at sunrise and sunset delights all tourists. You can't describe the beauty in words. You have to see it for yourself."
Wildlife and nature photographer Feroz Al Sabah said, "The Kanchenjunga can be seen from all parts of the district in the morning if the sky is clear. But the best view is from the banks of the River Mahananda near the Tetulia Dak Bungalow and the border villages of Shalbahan and Buraburi union."
Two local businessmen, Saidur Rahman and Nahirul Islam, said that with a massive influx of tourists, many small businesses have sprung uo here. Many people wait for this season to make a living off tourists who come to see Kangchenjunga.
Government authorities have already taken steps to host a large number of tourists.
Tetulia Dak Bungalow caretaker Shahinur Rahman said all the rest houses have been disinfected and cleaned in preparation for tourists.
"There are two District Council dak bungalows in Tetulia. The upazila administration also has two rest houses at Picnic Corner and the Berang Complex, besides the many private hotels to accommodate tourists. Tourists are requested to contact us in advance if they want to stay the night," he added.
Panchagarh Tourist Police Inspector Aminul Islam said the tourist police is on high alert for the safety of tourists. Every day, anywhere from 2,000 to 5,000 tourists come here from different parts of the country. If the weather is good, tourists will continue to come till January.
Tetulia Upazila Nirbahi Officer Sohag Chandra Saha said, "Our bungalows have been redesigned and a new one has been built. The upazila authorities have removed shops from along the banks of the Mahananda for the convenience of tourists to move about."
"With the number of tourists increasing, we are considering launching community tourism here," the UNO added.
Panchagarh Deputy Commissioner Zahurul Islam told The Business Standard, "The main attraction for tourists is the Kangchenjunga. We urge everyone to come here but to maintain hygiene rules."