Srinagar, Sep 22: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary Arun Kumar Mehta on Thursday flagged off the Kashmir Cyclothon, which will cover eight mostly unexplored destinations in the Valley over three days.
About 60 cyclists from across India and Nepal are taking part in the cyclothon, which was flagged off from Royal Springs Golf Club here.
Mehta told reporters, "The purpose of the cyclothon is for people to explore Kashmir in a better way. They will also carry the message of 'nasha-mukt abhiyan' (drugs-free campaign)," Mehta told reporters.
He said 60 cyclists -- some over 60 years of age -- from across the country and even Nepal, were taking part in the event.
"It is a very good activity, very refreshing. The cyclists have come from all over the country and even Nepal. It is good to see people over 60 (years) participating," he said.
Mehta added that the participants would cover the 300-km distance over three days.
Tourism Secretary Sarmad Hafeez said Kashmir was one of the finest destinations for cycling and mountain biking.
"We have beautiful destinations, with untapped potential. We have identified many new places so that tourists reach there and people benefit," he said.
Hafeez said the cyclists would travel through Verinag, Kokernag, Daksum, Vasaknag, Dubjan, Aharbal, Shikargah, and Srinagar for the event.
The cyclists described the event as an opportunity to explore Kashmir.
"This event gives us a chance to explore the areas which we usually do not hear about. I am very thankful to the tourism department for organising this cyclothon and inviting us," said Ritu from Jammu.
Suchanda, who has travelled from Delhi for the event, said cycling was the best way to explore the Valley.
"This is a wonderful opportunity for us to explore unexplored destinations. I am sure this will be a great experience," she said.