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.”
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.
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.