Beauty at the Top
Sunny or cloudy; nature at its best!
South Kashmir’s Islamabad district, like other areas of the valley, is known for its beauty and wonderful tourist destinations. The spots like Pahalgam, Kokernag, Achabal, Verinag and Daksum have always been the tourists’ priority because of the enthralling climate and incredible landscapes. However, there are several other places that have a huge tourism potential but are either unexplored or very less considered.
Sinthan Top is one such destination that caught the tourists’ eye recently when the construction of Kokernag- Kishtwar road started. At a distance of around 128 kilometers from Srinagar and located at a height of 3748 meters, Sinthan top has a great potential to become tourist favourite because of its magnificent location and breathtaking beauty. Around 40 kilometers of snaky and uphill drive from Daksum, it’s an adventurous journey. And round the year snow at the top makes it a varied choice for local tourists as well as outsiders. “I have been to almost every tourist place in Kashmir but Sinthan top has so far been the most delightful of all,” said Raqeeb Ahmad, a local tourist. “The journey to this place is thrilling and so is sliding down the snow-capped peaks,” he added.
The tourist inflow to Sinthan top started a couple of years ago but so far only the local tourists have been seen relishing the spot and that too very less in number. The simple reason behind it is that this spot is yet to be developed as a tourist destination. Apart from the normal tourism activity, Sinthan top has a great potential for Adventure tourism. The spot is best suited for mountaineering and skiing with the height at which it is located and the kind of mountain ranges it has. It can be a great boost to the adventure tourism industry of the Valley and can take the rush off the places like Gulmarg and pahalgam that are usually overcrowded with tourists.
“Gulmarg and Pahalgam are so far the only places where adventure tourism has been looked upon seriously by the administration, Sinthan top can be another place where such things can happen and that too on a lower cost because of its unique natural setup,” another tourist at the Sinthan top said.
The advantage with Sinthan top is that places like Kokernag, Daksum and Achabal fall en-route; that gives the tourists a varied choice of resting and makes travelling more pleasant and less tiresome. Plus the spot itself can be a great resting place for people travelling from Srinagar to Kishtwar and back. But not to speak of adventure tourism nothing has happened so far that can help the cause of making it a simple tourist destination.
“Last two or three years have witnessed a considerable rush of tourists to Sinthan top but so far there has been no development from the government’s side apart from the construction of a concrete road and that too only because this road connects Kashmir with Kishtwar,” a resident of Daksum said.
The authorities claim to have initiated certain developments and assure to develop Sinthan top to the maximum possible extent. “Sinthan top no doubt has a scope for normal as well as adventure tourism and we are looking forward to it seriously,” Executive Officer, Kokernag Development Authority (KDA), Mohammd Altaf Wani said. “We have already sent a project proposal to the Central Government and we are waiting for its approval,” he added.
The authorities claim that this being the forest area makes things difficult for them. “We had released 10 lakh rupees last year for the construction of a dome type hut but the forest department did not allow us to go ahead with that asking us to apply for an NOC,” Mohammad Altaf said. “We have applied for the NOC but that has not been granted yet,” he added.
The government should initiate the development of Sinthan top and other such places so that the tourism sector of the valley attains new heights and the tourists from all over the world relish their stay in Kashmir.
Lastupdate on : Sun, 3 Jun 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 3 Jun 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 4 Jun 2012 00:00:00 IST
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