Mubashir Aalam Wani
Srinagar, Feb 1: Fresh snowfall has restored the winter adventure at Gulmarg, which had stalled due to the persistent dry weather for more than a month.
Gulmarg for the last few days has witnessed spells of snowfall, which not only transformed the landscape into a winter wonderland but has also revived the region’s vibrant snow adventure tourism.
The thick layer of snow has set the stage for a renewed enthusiasm for winter sports and activities. Soon after the destination started receiving snowfall, local ski instructors and guides wasted no time in managing the slopes for ski enthusiasts.
“We have been eagerly waiting for this moment. We witness a huge loss this season since no skiing activity could take place in the absence of snow,” said Sajad Ahmad, a private ski instructor.
Like rest of the valley, Gulmarg had faced an unusually dry spell over the past more than a month. The lack of snow had impacted the local economy, particularly businesses reliant on winter tourism.
The destination is abuzz with sledge pullers and ATK drivers who offer services to the tourists visiting the destination.
“Finally winter activities, which include sledding, skiing and snow ATKs have restored in Gulmarg. All the sledge pullers have stationed themselves at various sport to offer services to the tourists,” said Mohammad Shahbaz Dar, a sled puller.
Post-snowfall, the rush of tourists has increased at Gulmarg. Tourists from across the country and beyond are arriving in numbers at Gulmarg to partake in a myriad of winter activities.
“There was no snow last week when I arrived in Kashmir. Luckily, it started to snow in Gulmarg a few days ago, so we decided to extend our trip by few more days so we could enjoy the snow activities.,” said Sujoy Chatterjee, a tourists from West Bengal
Pertinently, more than 16 lakh tourists have visited Gulmarg last year. In 2022, 15.5 lakh tourists visited Gulmarg with a major chunk visiting during the winter period.