The travel & tourism sector in India accounted for 8 per cent of the total employment opportunities generated in the country in 2017 which is very significant. Change in demographics and choices of customers have led to newest categories of target audience. It is believed that the Indian outbound tourists will account for 22.5 million worldwide tourists in 2018, with reports from the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) estimating this figure will increase by 122 per cent to reach over 50 million by 2022. This highlights that tourists travel across the world to experience enchanting and thrilling wonders, witnessing different cultures, and exploring diverse religions.
On seeing a progressive future of tourism, State of Sikkim decided to offer a destination to the tourists with an appealing entrance – Buddhist Monastery with a Glass Skywalk – India’s first Glass Skywalk
The new Buddhist pilgrimage site at Pelling in West Sikkim opened its gates on November 1st 2018. It plays host to the world’s tallest 137-feet Chenrezig statue. In order to promote the city as a Buddhist pilgrimage government initiated the project of the Glass walkway. The project was initiated in 2009 and consecrated by Dalai Lama in March 2018.
Here's a view of the beautiful location-
The project was quite challenging for the engineers because of the hilly terrain. Having to construct a walkway of glass floor brought in a lot of complexities owing to the dynamic loads acting on the glass from the huge influx of tourists in this serene location.
The glass used for this application had to withstand the following conditions:-
- External application at an elevation of 7.2km
- Safety glass
- Live Load: 600 kg/sq. m
- Weight of the glass < 100 kg/sq. m
- Max Span of the glass: 2600 X 2400 mm
Saint-Gobain provided one of their unique glass called Vetrotech Saint-Gobain life floor. It’s a laminated glass floor panel, which comprises multiple layers of glass sheets, laminated together. All panels are designed for load-bearing applications like floors, foot-bridges, etc. and are configured to meet national standards and highest safety requirements set by the government; It is India’s first glass walkway bridge with a huge capacity and a marvelous view.