Bhaderwah, Feb 24 : A two-day winter carnival is being organised in the famous resort Jaie Ghati in Jammu and Kashmir’s Bhaderwah in an attempt to revive tourism.
The carnival saw colourful activities being jointly organised by Army, District administration Doda and Department of Tourism including cultural programmes, display of art and craft, snow cricket, wrestling, stick fighting by tribal people and professionals.
The festival was inaugurated by Maj Gen Ajay Kumar GOC Delta Force along with DC Doda Vishesh Paul Mahajan.
Performances by renowned singer Kabul Bukhari, adventure sports activities, BESIDE traditional folk dance and songs by local artists and other activities attracted a good participation of locals and tourists including foreigners on the inaugural day of the event.
DC Doda said the festival is being conducted to revive the tourism sector, which had been adversely affected due to “the Covid-19 pandemic, and to promote the popular resort for the winter season also.”
“We are promoting Bhaderwah as world-class winter destination, offering tourists a slice of it’s world-class meadows, sports, cuisine and culture. In short we are offering a switzerland like experience at an affordable cost,” DC added.
Hundreds of tourists who are enjoying the winter stay in Bhaderwah valley beside large number of locals and students converged at snow filled Jaie Ghati to attended the event.
A group of tourists from Australia said that the place is very beautiful and they enjoyed the bright sunshine in the snow filled calmness of the valley.
“We came to know about this place from our friend, so we decided to visit here. It’s undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places on earth, with a clear atmosphere, fresh air and pleasant weather,” Catherine (45) said adding that “everyone should visit this unexplored heaven on earth.”
Tribal populations who migrate in high altitude meadows of Chenab region during summer months were also a happier lot and expressed gratitude to the administration for organising the event.
“This event is really a blessing for us as the number of visitors who converged here today is unbelievable. This is clearly an indication that this season will surely bring good fortunes for us,” said Mohd Hussain Chechi, Lamberdar of Jaie.
“We came here to perform our traditional folk art and tribal games like stick fight and snow wrestling but the keen interest of the tourists has prompted us to prepone our migration to the Meadows,” said Chechi adding “ if the situation continues to remain conducive we can start seasonal migration as early as in the second week of March instead of mid April.”
Speaking on the occasion Joint Director Tourism Jammu Sunaina Mehta said the festival is a part of the department’s initiative to promote Bhaderwah as a winter destination and also display rural flavour to the visitors.
“Bhaderwah is primarily a summer destination but we want to invite tourists in the winter months also which looks so beautiful during snowfall. Though the Gulmarg ski resort is most sought after during winter months, this event will attract travelers from across the country to Bhaderwah also during these months,” she said.
According to the data issued by authorities, at least 5000 visitors converged at Jaie meadow on the first day of the two day snow festival.