Srinagar: As the strict covid19 lockdown eases, trekking enthusiasts have begun to explore mountain ranges surrounding the Srinagar district.
“Now that the Covid19 restrictions have been eased, outdoor adventurous activities like trekking are going to prove very helpful,” they say.
“You have seen that in the past few months the suicide cases have grown steeply. As a trekking enthusiast I believe that outdoor activities can help us a lot in this situation,” Ajaz Ahmed said.
“Trekking helps us in knowing our surroundings,” Ahmed adds.
According to trekkers most of the mountains on Srinagar outskirts remain pretty unexplored. The most famous trekking spots in Srinagar mountain ranges include DaraHarwan, Dachigam, Khimber, and others. “Some nearby low-lying hills like AsthanMarg are accessible through vehicles; people visit there with families.”
Mudasir Ahmed, who is a regular trekker from Harwan returned from Mahadev peak after 3 days on Monday. He has been regularly visiting these places for around a decade. “Earlier, people from Srinagar outskirts only took interest in trekking, but now individuals from the heart of Srinagar, downtown, uptown and other areas are coming for trekking.”
He said: “It is great mental and physical exercise for which children should also be encouraged, who otherwise usually remain stick to electronic gadgets, e-gaming which is affecting their health.”
The avid trekker said: “Activities like hiking take you close to nature and help in your overall growth. With the closure of education institutes from 2019, students are getting depressed, becoming lazy in homes.”
Other than Mahadev peak, places like Mamneth, Ledwas, Burzwas, from Dara side are well known among the trekkers.
The trekkers say that in recent times places like Badi-Marg which is trekked from Khimber on Srinagar outskirts is also one of the popular places.
“These are the short trekking trips which will take an overnight stay at maximum. Apart from these, people are going for weeklong trekking to TarsarMarsar alpine lakes via Dara. We returned from Badi-Marg a few days back and we are planning to go TarsarMarsar in mid-July. With the help of social media, people are getting to know about these places and more and more trekkers from Srinagar and other districts are coming to explore them. The good thing is that all these places are easily accessible from Srinagar as they fall in the mountain ranges starting from Srinagar,” said Aadil Ahmed, a college student from Khanyar.
With the growth in trekking activates, the Gujjar community in these mountain ranges is finding a way to earn a livelihood by offering guide services, horses, and sometimes their mud huts in the mountains.
“We are usually grazing our cattle along these places. At times youngsters hire us as guides or to haul material. Sometimes people also rent our mud huts. It gives us an opportunity to earn,” said Nazeer Ahmed, a Gujjar.