Unexplored alpine meadow

This is indeed a good news for district Ganderbal in general and for the Kashmir valley in particular that finally, hitherto unexplored tourist destination ‘Mohand Marg with adjacent destinations viz Lal Marg and Traugh’ are likely to come up on tourist map of the state. 

Mohand Marg, which is Kashmiri is known as “Mohana Marg”is a greenery pasture which lies at the river Sindh situated at the altitude of 3400 meters. This meadow is located on top of Koaihama range overlooking Sindh valley and gives a panoramic view of Pir Panjal range, Gadsar Range and Mount Kalahoi. Clothed by dense lush green forests, the destination is reachable via two ways:- One is from WaliwarGanderbal and another from Anderwan Manigam Ganderbal . From Waliwar, this trek-destination can be covered within 4 to 5 hours while as it takes near about 3 hours to reach to the destination if one starts the trek from Anderwan Yarmuquam.

It would quite be a matter of injustice if one talks of Mohand Marg sans the name of Hungarian-born archaeologist Sir Marc Aurel Stein. Stein, who has taught at many Indian Universities and has been a great protagonist in exploring this unknown tourist spot. Sir Stein first visited Mohand Marg in 1895 and left from here in 1934. He has visited many a times to this Alpine meadow where he used to pitch his tent there. Two years ago, in his memory, the locals of the area erected a memorial stone on 14th of September, 2017 for bringing attention of the government towards this unexplored spot. “Our main motive behind the installation of the memorable stone is to bring this forgotten tourist spot in limelight so that the spot may be bought of the tourist map of the state”, said a local Shabir Ahmad

From almost a decade now, the nature and trek loving youth especially from district Ganderbal often can be seen trekking this meadow. One such youth is from Saloora namely Bilal Ahmad Wani. Bilal has fallen in love with this majestic destination and has been visiting here for so many years.

“Mohand Marg would be new discovery of beauty of Kashmir if explored well and put on the tourist map of the state”, Bilal said.

“This district which is mostly known for just Sonamarg, Mansbal and Naranag has also unexplored destinations of Mohand Marg and Lal Marg as well. These majestic mountainous spots are keeping many meadows and pastures in its womb which when in their full bloom can act as great health resorts and tourist spots for the adventurous souls”, he further added.

These meadows come up with a maximum length of over 10 kms with maximum width of about 6 kms. The presence of different types of plenty of flowers, a small stream flowing north of Ganderbal town with Harmukh on its west adds to its beauty. If Gulmarg Gandola type is projected from Waliwar or Anderwan areas, the destination would get a new breather and would attract the world attention.

  Let’s hope this spot gets attention and attracts people the world over.

Sofi Imtiyaz is working in J&K Bank as Associate Executive and is presently posted at Business Unit Hajjin Bandipora.