Friday, April 09, 2010

Paradise is alive

Kashmir’s beautiful locations are bustling with activity as tourists return to the valley as terror incidents seem to be on the wane

Kashmir, the land of green valleys, beautiful lakes, icy deserts, high mountain passes, rugged terrain, foothills, picturesque plains and of many golf courses is geared up to host more than one million domestic and foreign tourists in the coming months. The state tourism department has declared 2010 as ‘Visit Kashmir’ year. To pull more and more domestic visitors towards Kashmir, the department has been holding road shows and Kashmiri festivals in different cities of the country during the past few months.

“We are expecting more than one million non-pilgrim visitors to Kashmir this year.” Nawang Rigzin Jora, tourism and culture minister told TSI. “We are trying to re-establish the state back as the most favoured tourist spot on the global map by making world class facilities available to visitors.” he added.

The expectations of the Jammu and Kashmir government aren’t misplaced. Visitors across from the country have started to land in Srinagar, the summer capital of the state. The Shahs of Mumbai are in Kashmir on a tour for the last ten days. “Undoubtedly, this is heaven on earth. We plan to extend our stay over here so that we can see many more places,” Pankaj Shah, head of the nine-member family, said.

The family is staying in a houseboat in the world famous Dal Lake. On the shore of the lake, the guests happily posed for a photo session. Everyone in the family seemed thrilled. “We are planning to re-visit Gulmarg tonight,” they said.

Gulmarg, literally the "Meadow of Flowers", is a mountain resort 56 km from Srinagar. It is one of the state's most visited destinations. The legendary beauty of the place, prime location and proximity to Srinagar make it one of the Kashmir’s primary hill resorts. Gulmarg was discovered by a Kashmiri king Sultan Yusuf Shah in the 16th century. The king was inspired by the sight of its grassy slopes emblazoned with wild flowers. Today, Gulmarg is not just a hill resort of marvellous beauty but also the India’s premier ski resort in winter when it is wrapped in snow. The immense beauty and adventure activities make Gulmarg much more than a cool hill resort. The place possess Asia's highest and longest cable car project called Gulmarg Gondola. The two-stage ropeway has a capacity to carry more than 500 hundred people every hour back and forth from Kongdoori Mountain, a shoulder of nearby Afarwat Peak (13,780 ft) of the Pir Panjal Range of the Himalaya chain.

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Source :
IIPM Editorial, 2009

An IIPM and Professor Arindam Chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist) Initiative

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