Fresh Snowfall increases Tourist footfall in Kashmir Hill Stations


Kashmir: Ski Destination of the Kashmir region, Gulmarg, and parts of Sonamarg received more than a foot of snowfall. Sadhna top and Machil in Kupwara have received 1.5ft and 4 inches of snowfall respectively, and Dawar Gurez in Bandipora district has about 3 inches of snowfall. The tourists in the Gulmarg Ski resort were seen enjoying the snow and considering themselves lucky to witness the season’s first snowfall.

Divyasha, a tourist from Orissa. “I am extremely happy and it’s a great experience, We tried Gondola, It’s heaven on earth and everyone should visit. It’s the best place ever. It’s extremely safe and people are very friendly.”

Gulmarg Hill Station

Some of the tourists were witnessing snowfall for the first time in their lives and found the whole experience mesmerizing. Dipasha, a Tourist said “I am loving it here, It’s heaven on earth. I have never seen snowfall in my life, so it was a mesmerizing experience for me. I really don’t want to go back from here. I will tell all my friends to visit as this is the most beautiful place in the whole world.” 

With the snowfall, the temperatures in the valley have dropped as well. Srinagar recorded a low of 4.2°C temperature while Gulmarg recorded a low of minus 4.5°C against. 

”It’s a great feeling to witness snow. I must say that I should have come here earlier. This is the real paradise. We went to Sonamarg but it wasn’t that much snow but it’s great here in Gulmarg.  We are around 60 people visiting from Bihar and it’s such a great experience. It’s the real paradise on earth and we want everyone from across India should come and visit. We are enjoying it here the most. ” said Chandra Deepender tourist.

Gulmarg under Snow Cover
Gulmarg under Snow Cover

The tourist stakeholders in the valley are extremely joyous over the first snowfall of the season as it attracts a lot of tourists from across the globe to the valley. All hotels and guest houses in Gulmarg are completely booked with tourists. 

”With the first snowfall, our work increases so much. The tourist arrivals increased which means more work for us. I am working as a tourist guide. The more the snow the more we get to earn during the snow. There are so many people associated with the tourism industry and everyone makes money. The number of tourists is increasing every passing day. We are expecting more tourists in the coming winter. Everyone who visits here calls it Paradise and never leaves disappointed. ” said Ajaz, Tourist Guide.

The tourism department of Jammu and Kashmir has geared up for winter tourism. The government is planning special offers and discounts for tourists coming to the valley around Christmas and new year’s. There would be snow and winter festivals held at various hill stations like Gulmarg, Pahalgam, and Sonmarg. 

The government is also planning ski events this year in Pahalgam and Sonmarg. Earlier only Gulmarg used to host the Ski tournaments. The government is expecting that there would be record-breaking tourist arrival in the valley this winter.


“Chahiye thoda pyaar” movie’s shooting begins in Gurez Valley

Gurez Valley

Gurez valley which is known for its breathtaking beauty and incredible landscape dotted with meadows, valleys, high altitude passes, dense forests and snow capped peaks has caught the eyes of Bollywood.

The Valley has been used as an infiltration corridor by the militant and people living along Line of control (LOC) have been victims of the shelling and bombs fired by Indian and Pakistani armies at each other.

Habba Khatoon Peak
Habba Khatoon Peak

However, the frontier village gained traction after it was thrown open for the people when Indian and Pakistan armies vowed to maintain a ceasefire along the bloody LoC in February 2021. With the Valley attracting heavy footfall of visitors, it earned the place the best offbeat tourist destination award in India.

“The valley has now caught the attention of filmmakers as it is going to feature in a Bollywood movie named ‘Chahiye Thoda Pyaar’ for the first time,” one of the film crew present in Gurez told the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO). He also said that they were impressed by local hospitality.

Shital Bagh, Gurez
Shital Bagh, Gurez

He said that prominent Bollywood filmmaker, TV director, editor, screenwriter and producer Onir along with 25 members reached the Gurez valley for shooting his upcoming movie “Chahiye thoda pyaar”. “Bollywood has had a decades old connection with Kashmir and we want to bring that connection back,” he said, adding that Gurez is the most beautiful place he has ever seen in his life and he would love to visit the Valley for shootings in future as well.

Markoot Gurez
Markoot Gurez

He said that they will encourage other colleagues, producers, and directors of the industry to shoot their films in the Gurez valley. “Besides we are giving much priority to the local artists to get involved in the movies,” he said.

Last year, the J&K government announced a film policy to revive Kashmir’s connection with Bollywood and offered incentives and single-window clearance for permission.

Badwan, Gurez
Badwan Gurez

Record breaking tourists visits Jammu and Kashmir since independence

Record breaking tourists visits Jammu and Kashmir since independence 1

Jammu and Kashmir witnessed record breaking tourist footfall since past 75 years. An official informed that nearly 1.62 crore tourists have visited J&K since January 2022. Since independence, Jammu and Kashmir has had the highest number of tourists.

The directorate of information & public relations (DIPR) of the J&K government said the tourist footfall in the Union territory this year is the highest since India’s independence, reported news agency ANI.

A spokesman informed that a record-breaking 20.5 lakh tourists, including 3.65 lakh Amarnath yatris, visited Kashmir in the first eight months of this year, drawing visitors from all over the nation to the valley.

The statistics were made public a day after Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that the Modi government’s initiatives have caused the area to change from being a terrorist hotspot to a tourist hotspot.

“Kashmir coming alive!” Piyush Goyal, the Union trade and industries minister, wrote on Twitter.

After the majority of Covid-19 restrictions were lifted from the region, there has been a rise in domestic tourism in Kashmir known for snow-capped mountains, mesmerisng lakes and breathtaking views.