With heat wave in plains, Bhadarwah witnesses sudden influx of tourists

2.1 lakh people visit Padri meadow alone in 20 days
With heat wave in plains, Bhadarwah witnesses sudden influx of tourists

After a slow start to the season, tourism footfall has picked up suddenly in Bhadarwah area of Doda district in J&K's Chenab valley with more than 2.1 lakh tourists visiting alone Padri meadow here during last 20 days.  

The sudden rise in numbers has brought cheer to the localtourism players as well as Bhadarwah Development Authority (BDA).

Those associated with tourism and had put huge stakes in theindustry, were apprehending huge losses as in the otherwise peak season whichstarts from middle of May, picturesque Valley received hardly any visitors fromMay 15 to June 10.

The communal tension in the month of May that was followedby weeklong curfew from 16th of the month resulted in very low turnout of thevisitors almost till middle of June, but the sudden unprecedented rush ofvisitors in last 20 days especially in high altitude meadows have calmed thenerves of tourist players.

As the other parts of country are sweltering under severheat wave and humidity, Bhadarwah has become a favourite among the tourists asthousands from different parts of the country converge everyday here to enjoythe picturesque beauty and pleasant cool weather of high altitude green meadowsand glaciers.

The high altitude meadows of Bhadarwah valley especiallyPadri Dhar and small glaciers located enroute Bhadarwah – Chamba Road thesedays are abuzz and over crowded with visitors, as in last 20 days a staggering2.1 lakh tourists visited  Padri meadowalone adjoining Ashapati glacier.

Padri is a vast grazing land meadow at a height of 11,000feet above sea level on interstate Bhaderwah-Chamba road. located at a distanceof 49 km and 80 km from Bhaderwah and Chamba towns in Himachal Pradeshsimultaneously.

"Visitors are thronging the meadows in large numbers asunprecedented rush in tourist arrivals is being witnessed since last one month,making the otherwise calm meadows abuzz and overcrowded," said RajinderPrasad Khajuria, CEO Bhadarwah Development Authority.

"As many as about 2.1 lakh tourists have visited Padrimeadow alone from June 16 till July 5, which is a record of its sorts, as lastyear we received 1.15 lakh visitors during this period. We even received asmany as 22,000 tourists in a single day and right now, all the hotels, BDAproperties and registered guest houses are packed with visitors," Khajuriaadded.

Popular destinations like Lake View Resort, Padri Meadow,Jai , Guldanda, Kheleeni, Chattargala and Herbal Garden are attracting touristsin large numbers.

"Bhadarwah is the best place to spend your holidays.Not only is the place beautiful, but people here are very nice andhelpful," Rakesh Mahajan, a tourist from Samba said.

"We are at Padri meadow and due to cool breeze, we arefeeling the chill in July, which is unbelievable. We (family) are enjoying ourstay here and can't get enough of this place, as it's like a fairy tale that weare playing with snow that too on roadside and just 30 km from the town,"said another tourist Ritu Devi.

"We came here to shoot a few sequences of the Himachalisongs but the unparalleled beauty and mesmerising landscape has left usspeechless and we have decided to stay back and shoot all the album here atPadri only," said Chanchal Sarolavi, a producer from Himachal Pradesh.

According to figures issued by BDA, 1.5 lakh touristsvisited Padri in 2017, the influx increased to 2.21 lakh in 2018 but this2.1lakh visitors thronged here the high altitude meadow in just 20 days.

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