becoming popular in Kashmir
Pahalgam (Jammu and Kashmir),
July 14 (ANI): Beyond the cricket mania, which appears to have overwhelmed
almost all sports lovers in the country, river rafting is fast emerging
as a popular sport in the Kashmir Valley.
In Kashmirs Pahalgam region,
in particular, the white water river rafting has gained immense popularity.
Located in the south-east
of Kashmir, Pahalgam is surrounded by lofty mountain ranges and is washed
by gushing streams and rivulets which provide abundant opportunities for
adventure sports like river water rafting
The aquatic adventure sport
is attracting a lot of domestic as well as international tourists. And,
this is a good news for the local residents related to tourism sector.
In fact, the white water
river rafting destinations in India are comparable to the best in the world
and among these the ones in Kashmir render utmost thrills to the participants.
visiting Kashmir include Pahalgam as their prime destination to enjoy thrills
of white water rafting here.
“I have done river rafting
in almost all the places across India. The only hill station, which was
left, was Pahalgam. After attempting river-rafting here I have realized
my cherished wish here as well. I”m enjoying my experience here. Earlier
I had done river rafting in Rishikesh,” said Naresh Kumar, a Rajasthani
Earlier, Pahalgam used to
have only 10-13 boats sailing along the ice-cold white waters of Lidder
Nallah (stream). Bt now their number has touched 40-45 to cater to the
needs of the ever growing enthusiasts of this adventure sport here. The
growing charm among tourists has proved a boon for local residents here.
“The tourists response is
very good. Out of the total tourists coming to Pahalgam, 90 per cent are
doing rafting. We know about it because we are into this business. Even
the locals are into rafting and it’’s getting very popular.” said Mohammed
Ibrahim Raina, owner of a rafting boat.
The Jammu and Kashmir Government
after watching the potential of this sport is keen to capitalise on river
rafting as an employment generation medium in the region.
“It is our effort to promote
white river rafting because we have streams and beautiful rivers here which
are perfect for it. There is a lot of potential and opportunity for white
water rafting so we want to fully exploit it and create this facility for
the tourists. The effort is to promote white river rafting to benefit local
residents because the government is not interested in running this rafting
programme and we are only overseeing this. We are laying down the terms
and conditions for conducting this programme and only want the locals to
benefit from this,” said Sarmad Hafeez, Joint Director for Tourism in Kashmir.
Kashmir is known the world
over for its enchanting picturesque lakes, streams and rivers. River water
rafting is a relatively recent introduction in the Kashmir valley.
Tourism is the mainstay
of Jammu and Kashmir’’s economy. It has seen a tremendous upswing since