Published on : Tuesday, January 3, 2017
Fresh snowfall in Gulmarg and other higher reaches of Kashmir started this morning while many parts of the valley were lashed by light to moderate rainfall. This weather has come as a boon for winter sports and tourism-related activities in the Valley, with the Tourism Department making arrangements for hosting a ‘Snow Carnival’ later this month.
The carnival, which is organised by the Tourism Department annually at Gulmarg resort, was scheduled to be held in the first week of January but a prolonged dry spell across Kashmir and scant snowfall at Gulmarg this winter almost dashed all hopes of holding the event this season.
The tourism department is planning a wide range of activities for wooing tourists to Gulmarg during the carnival, which has been a hit with the visitors in the past.
“We will have ice hockey, snowboarding, snow sledging, snowball fight competition and painting competitions during the carnival,” a tourism department official said.
He said the Tourism Department will also organise a ‘night bazaar’ (market) and cultural shows at the Gulmarg bowl so that the tourists have a wider range of activities to choose from.
People associated with tourism and travel trade in Kashmir are hopeful that a good spell of snowfall will help them tide over part of the losses suffered during the summer unrest in the Valley.
“The tourism related activities came to a standstill post-July due to the unrest in Kashmir. As the situation is getting back to normal, we hope the tourists will visit this winter to enjoy snowfall,” Mohammad Shoaib, a travel agent, said.
He said low airfares to and from Kashmir should also attract more tourists to visit the valley.
The weatherman has forecast wet weather including light to moderate snowfall over the next three days in Kashmir.