Gulmarg hosts Bollywood biggies at winter festival

Ski destination Gulmarg in Baramulla district sprang to double joy after many Bollywood celebrities gathered there on Sunday to participate in a two-day winter festival organized by the Army along with the Tourism Department to provide a platform to the local youth to showcase their talent.

The event coincided with the Jammu and Kashmir administration’s announcement to restart 4G Internet services in entire Kashmir.

Bollywood came together in this endeavour and Arbaaz Khan along with Vidya Balan supported the efforts of the Army and inspired the local talent.

The highlights of Sunday’s event were Vidya Balan grooving on the tunes of Bollywood music, dialogue delivery by Arbaaz Khan and tongue twisting by Siddhart Roy Kapoor.

Other notable artists who made to this event were Altmash Faridi, Aabid Aly, Shafi Sopori, Zubair Khan, Waseem Ahmed, Umer Rockband, Waqar Khan, and Shazia Bashir. The artists did splendid performances on various Bollywood numbers to woo the crowd.

Senior army officials from 19th Division are overseeing the event. Since December, J&K administration has also launched introductory ski course for boys and girls from across the country.

“As Kashmir emerges from the shadow of COVID and enters a new era of peace and development, a two-day mega cultural extravaganza was organized by Army along with the J&K Tourism Department to provide a platform to the local youth to showcase their talent,” Army said here in a statement.

The extravaganza, the statement said, was full of adventure activities and the highlights were Skiing, Snow mobile, ATV race and Snow cycling. “Apart from this cultural performances by renowned artists of Kashmir mesmerised the audience with their spell bound performances,” it said. “Display of local cuisines and handicrafts made the event more than perfect.”

The event, which was organised after two years, aptly announced the re-opening of Kashmir to the world, Army said. “Army has always maintained a great connect with the local people and this is yet another instance of Army supporting the aspirations of Awaam (people) for a future of hope, prosperity and peace in Kashmir,” the statement said.

“The event is likely to give a fillip to the tourism in Kashmir and support the Kashmiri people whose livelihood has been impacted adversely due to COVID pandemic.”

The event concluded with a vote of thanks by GOC 19 Infantry Division, where he congratulated everyone involved in the historic event and assured that “Army is committed towards endorsing the progress and prosperity of people of Kashmir and will continue supporting the dreams and aspirations of all Kashmiri in all possible manner”.

The officials of Baramulla district administration said that they provided round the clock assistance to clear snow from the roads to ensure motorability with salt sprinkling.

They said that they had stationed electrical and Jal Shakti engineers and others to facilitate shops dealing in food, winter wears, etc.