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  17 October '2012
Flourishing Kashmir Tourism
  By V. K. Nakhasi

Kashmir happens to be one of the top most worldwide prominent spots of tourism. This universal fact is known by every tomb dick and harry. Kashmir valley is full of its natural charm and there is no worldwide parallel to it. This fact is supported by an evidence of frequent visits of foreigners from distant countries all over the globe. In other words we can freely express that it is God’s given gift to world populace in general and fortunate Kashmiris in particular. Visitors from all across the globe always do take golden opportunity of visiting Kashmir valley. In fact it happens to be their one of the cherished wishes to make a sojourn in the Kashmir valley for which they plan the trip well in advance so as to make use of ample of time to chalk out their programmed activity of visit to Kashmir.

Most of the tourists earmark finance in advance which they propose to incur upon their visit to the valley. Kashmir valley does not only assume tourist importance but it is also a very famous pilgrimage destination as well. Here in Kashmir various pilgrimage destinations which include Shri Amar Nath Ji Shrine, Mata Kheer Bhawani Shrine, Hari Parvat, Dastgeer Sahib, Maqdoom Sahib, Dargah-e-Sharief Hazratbal, Sheikh-ul-Alam, Charar-i-Sharief and many more other pilgrimage spots are freely visited by the people living outside Kashmir. The history in clear terms also conveys that the successive phases of various regimes which have reigned the State of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) also happened to attach tourist importance to Kashmir valley on priority and preference, the beauty of Kashmir indeed commands good view not only of the great India but also globally. Up till now, there has not been any natural parallel to Kashmir which is naturally imbued with highest order of charm all around.

The greenery of Kashmir fascinates all which forces everyone to enjoy a visit of beautiful Kashmir. Almost all the spots of Kashmir which happen to be worth visiting from tourism point of view attach the importance because of its natural beautification point of view. This naturally beautified Kashmir invites lakhs of people from outside every year to visit it throughout the year. The attraction of Kashmir in its full connotation has been growing notwithstanding a fact that a few years back a trauma caused in the wake of Kashmir tourism when the Anti National Elements (ANEs) in association with terrorists did not leave any stone unturned in distributing Kashmir tourism. However, the perpetrators who were hell bent to raze the Kashmir Tourism to the ground were crushed and shown the path of go back by the unison of Kashmiri people who are enough wise, god fearing and truly peace-loving. They defeated their motive not with the help of gun but with their wise might and forced them to change their bloody bad and rubbish ideology about innocent Kashmir and its Kashmiriyat. This way the evil plans of ANEs were thwarted.

Now, environ has turned quiet conducive for the State Government to contemplate further development of other spots which could be stepped as tourist spots. Meanwhile Govt. has initiated earnest steps to develop Thimoras valley as tourist spot. Govt. has taken it as a project to ensure its completion within stipulated period. Various consultancies are being engaged at the State Govt. level to ensure Kashmir as a full and biggest tourism industry. In order to see our Kashmir an exemplary tourist hub, we need to have adequate infrastructure which could help us to reshape our Kashmir tourism in a big way.

Now, the fact remains to see as to whether the locals of Kashmir are benefitted by having obtained such god’s given gift. The tourism in Kashmir has virtually changed the fortune of Locals of Kashmir. Most of the Kashmiris earn their livelihood through the tourist Industry of Kashmir. Kashmiri mostly opt to run business of their own. In view of this seventy percent population of Kashmir are entrepreneurs.

They mostly deal in carpets, embroideries, sale of dry fruits, craftwork, Papier-mâché etc. All these skills are fabulously fascinating for others. Whosever takes a chance of visiting Kashmir and on his leaving back he has to return alongwith carpets, embroidered dresses, dry fruits, craft work articles etc. the memories thereof remain with him forever till his existence in the world. This way the entrepreneurs of the valley take opportunity to enrich themselves which paves a way to them to lead their lives with much more progress & prosperity on all fronts. The Taxi, Shikara, House Boat, Bus Operators take due advantage of such flourishing tourism.

The tourists hire taxies to visit prominent tourist resorts of the valley which include Sonamarg, Pehalgam, Kokernagh, Veerinagh, Ducksum, Gulmarg, Tangmarg, Doodpathri, Adoo etc. They enjoy Shikara rides all around the natural Dal Lake which really commands a charming view of the whole of the valley. The Houseboats remain preoccupied by visitors. During June-July every year Shri Amar Nath Ji Yatri commences and people in lakhs undertake the Shri Amar Nath Ji Yatra. They track the great distance of 30 Kms on foot via Pehalgam road. Some of the pilgrims who desire to have Darshan of Shiv Lingam during the Yatra and to save time they opt to adopt Baltal road. Soon-after the culmination of yatra, the visitors visit other tourist resorts of the valley. Government does not track back in creating need based infrastructure on trekking paths up to cave.

It is a matter of great pride that the Kashmir’s tourism industry has gradually grown to the extent that whenever any foreigner thinks to see India, he prioritizes Kashmir to visit in his engagement Calendar. Foreigners generally visit Kashmir during winter. They trek snow clad terrain paths to achieve much enjoyment. People from other countries come to Kashmir to make research tours as well and thereafter prepare their research papers. They study about the nature of Kashmir in detail. They are in fact fascinated by the natural beauty and artwork of the Kashmir. It is also a matter of greatest pride that Kashmiri’s art work has been worldwide appreciated. The visitors feel lot of pleasure in buying the Kashmir art articles. Whosoever visits Kashmir returns back to his destination with much more impressionable memories and these memories force others to pay a visit to Kashmir.





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