Bhaderwah: To promote nature tourism and to attract flower lovers from across the world, Asia's first ever Foxglove Festival was organised by J&K Tourism in collaboration with BDA ( Bhadarwah Development Authority) and Army at Hanga Flower Valley in Bhadarwah.
After experiencing slump in tourism for last three years due to situation and Covid , several organisation especially Army took the initiative to help revive the tourism industry and started organising novel events to attract back the attention of visitors towards Bhadarwah Valley by showcasing it's natural potential to the outer world.
After successfully organising snow carnival at Jaie Ghati in February, this time 4 Rashtriya Rifles based at Bhadarwah joined hands with tourism department to come with the novel idea to organise first ever Foxglove Festival in Asia to showcase the beauty of wild Flower ( Foxglove) which is found in abundance in the woods of Bhadarwah valley.
The 'Foxglove blooms' festival in which hundreds of flower lovers, visitors, trekkers, tour operators beside students and scholars converged on Hanga Flower Valley to witness the beauty and to simultaneously study the wild flower was inaugurated by Chairman DDC Doda Dhananter Singh Kotwal along with vice Chairperson Sangeeta Bhagat at CO 4RR Col Rajat Parmar.
Speaking on the occasion, DDC Chairman said, "Today history has been made and we are fortunate enough to be a part of this historical event as we have taken the lead to organise first ever Foxglove festival in Asia."
"For this we are extremely thankful to Army, who came up with this novel idea of showcasing the immensely beautiful wild flower through a specific festival. I hope this event will act as a catalyst to win back the tourists to this Valley and it will become an annual event of the tourism calendar of Jammu and Kashmir,“ DDC Chairman added.
Commanding Officer 4RR while addressing the gathering said, "after media highlighted the importance of this unique flower, we decided to be a part of this endeavour as we had successfully organised snow festival earlier this year to attract tourists and we will continue to do so by organising a summer carnival soon."
"This is a right Step in right direction and the timing is also good as this is the latest trend in the tourism industry and need of the hour to harness nature based tourism," said Dr Neeraj Sharma, head of department Institute of Mountain Environment Bhadarwah Campus.
"These kind of festivals will surely attract flower and bird lovers and this is the best possible way to harness eco based tourism as this Valley has got immense potential beside it is still unexplored," Dr Neeraj added.
"Instead of waiting for the mega projects promised by the government like Gandola, city forest and Mall Road to take off, we should concentrate on exploiting available natural resources, which we have in abundance and 'Foxglove blooms' festival will surely pay rich dividends and now we are hoping quality tourists as we have already starting some queries regarding foxglove not only for India but from abroad as well," said Tariq Choudhary, President Tour and Travel Association.