Srinagar, May 14: Located in North Kashmir’s Bandipora district, Zurimanz, also known as Bangladesh, is a charming village nestled along the banks of the magnificent Wular Lake. With its stunning natural beauty and serene surroundings, this hidden gem is quickly gaining popularity among tourists as a must-visit destination.
As one of the largest freshwater lakes in South Asia, Wular Lake provides a breathtaking backdrop for visitors to enjoy a wide range of activities, including boating, fishing, and birdwatching Tourists from all over India are thronging the village to witness its beauty, which they believe is awe-inspiring. The locals, who hail from the fishermen’s community, are excited about the prospect of their village becoming a tourist hotspot. The villagers believe that if the government provides better facilities and develops the village, more tourists will visit Zurimanz.
“The view here is totally amazing. We believe if this village is developed well and given the best facilities, more people will start visiting here,” said a group of non-local tourists.
To boost tourism at Wular Lake, two brothers from Zurimanz hamlet have created the first-ever shikara and launched it in the lake. Firdous Ahmad Bhat (42) and Ghulam Hassan (40) came up with the idea to improve their means of sustenance and entice more visitors to the lake.
While talking to ANI, Firdous stated that it took them many days to build the shikara with the aim of attracting more and more tourists to the lake. “Wular is a beautiful lake. Visitors or tourists who come to Kashmir from different parts of India should visit this lake as it has all the beauty to enthral nature lovers,” said Firdous.
Firdous also highlighted the need to save the lake from pollution, as it is not only a source of income for thousands of fishermen but also a vital part of the ecosystem.
The locals have welcomed the brothers’ efforts, with many hailing it as a great step towards revitalizing the forgotten lake. The tourists from outside have also started arriving in the village after people took note of them on social media.
The government is committed to providing better facilities to the villagers and promoting sustainable tourism in the region. “The government is taking all possible steps to promote tourism in the area. We will provide all the necessary support to the locals to ensure that they are able to generate more income and improve their standard of living,” said a government official.
The villagers are happy with the support provided by the government and are hopeful that their village will soon become a popular tourist destination. “We are grateful to the government for providing us with the necessary support. We hope that more tourists will visit our village and help us improve our livelihoods,” said a local resident.
The efforts made by the two brothers from Zurimanz Hamlet to boost tourism at Wular Lake have been widely appreciated. The introduction of the shikara is a step towards promoting sustainable tourism and raising awareness about the importance of preserving the lake’s ecosystem. The government’s support for the locals and commitment to promoting tourism in the region has brought hope and optimism to the villagers.
Recently, a South Indian film crew completed shooting for their film around Wular Lake. The film, which was being directed by Aditya Suhas, is based in Kashmir whose principal photography was done in neighbouring Baramulla, while some of the scenes were shot in Zurimanz.
It was the first movie to be shot in the Lake after the implementation of the Film Policy-2021 in Jammu and Kashmir. In 2021, the J&K government announced a film policy to revive Kashmir’s connection with Bollywood and offered incentives and single-window clearance for permission.
According to local residents who worked with the film crew, the filming of movies in Kashmir has the potential to create job opportunities for the local population. During the shooting of the film, a significant number of people from nearby areas, including women and children, gathered to witness the process.
“The government is committed to promoting tourism in Zurimanz village and will take all necessary steps to develop the necessary infrastructure and amenities to make it an attractive tourist destination. We will work closely with the local community to identify areas that need improvement and to ensure that their interests are taken into consideration in all tourism-related activities,” said Deputy Commissioner Bandipora, Dr Owais Ahmad.
“Tourism is not just about visiting popular destinations, it’s also about exploring off-beat locations and experiencing local culture. The village of Bangladesh in Bandipora is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered by tourists. We are committed to developing tourism in this area by providing comfortable homestays and other facilities for tourists to stay and immerse themselves in the local way of life. Additionally, we plan to organize several festivals in the future to showcase the unique traditions and customs of this beautiful village. Our goal is to create a sustainable tourism model that benefits both the local community and the visitors”, he added.