Kashmiri (Neolithic Man) appeared around 2700 BC at Pahalgam (pit-civilization)

Kashmir valley came into existence during the post Geo-synclinal stage of the development of the Himalayas and lies between the two main Himalayan ranges; the Pir Panchal and the Zanskar. It is roughly 135 km long and 40 km wide and was initially an intra-mountain basin covered by ice cover of glacier epochs. Due to endogenic and exogenic forces, Kashmir’s water got drained leading to basins in the shape of Dal, Wular, Manasbal, Nageen and Anchar etc. Archeological evidence shows first Kashmiri (Neolithic Man) appeared around 2700 BC ago at Burzhama (Dal Lake) and at Bomai (Wular Lake) besides at Pahalgam (pit-civilization). Palaeo-climatic study reveals that the level of pollutants was almost negligible as it is seen today. Dal and Wular and all other water bodies witnessed pollution right from 5000 years ago as man’s entire need of living was satisfied by the fresh and clean water from drinking, washing, agriculture to food and fish.

Woodstock Hotel, Pahalgam in tie up with ITIL

ITIL (Indian Tourism Infrastructure Ltd.) group has tied up with three properties in Jammu & Kashmir under management contract and these will be managed under their hotel brand. One of these is renowned Hotel Woodstock in Pahalgam. The hotel would now be called  ITIL Woodstock Hotel, Pahalgam. Hotel Woodstock is one of the oldest and respected Hotel in Pahalgam and is located right in the main market.

Amarnath Board to study yatra impact on Kashmir economy

Srinagar, Sept. 13 (PTI): The Amarnath Shrine Board is setting up an expert committee to carry out a survey on the impact of the annual Amarnath yatra on Jammu and Kashmir’s economy.

The proposed committee would be formed on the lines of a panel formed to survey the impact of Vashino Devi pilgrimage on the state’s economy, Governor S K Sinha, who is also Chairman of the Board, said at a function here Tuesday evening.

Speaking on the occasion, CEO of the Board, Arun Kumar, said the Amarnath and Vaishno Devi yatras have helped the economy of the region.

Quoting a recent study conducted by IIT, Delhi, he said 70 lakh pilgrims visiting Vaishno Devi had contributed Rs 670 crore to the economy. The figure for Amarnath yatra, he said, could be around Rs 40 crore.

On controversies about duration of the yatra and early melting of Shiv Lingam at the shrine, Sinha said everybody has a right to express their feelings and the views expressed would be taken in the right perspective, and necessary corrective measures taken on making the pilgrimage smooth.

On the early melting of Shiv Lingam this year, he said various possibilities were being suggested for its preservation without touching or tampering it. However, religious sentiments of the people would be taken into consideration.

He said despite early melting of the lingam, about three lakh pilgrims visited the shrine this year.

The Governor said a mechanism would be evolved to reduce inconvenience caused to tourist from within and outside the state who visit Pahalgam during the two-month yatra.

Sinha said elaborate measures had been taken this year to ensure smooth yatra with emphasis on preservation and combating pollution. No deep trench latrines were allowed to be raised, and instead 20,000 pre-fabricated toilets and bathrooms were raised at a cost of Rs 2 crores.

Praising the people of Kashmir for their valuable and whole-hearted support during the yatra, he said it reflects the deep bonds of brotherhood and amity in the land of sufis and saints.

The SASB CEO said during the current yatra donation of Rs 2.50 crores was made by devotees against last year’s 2.38 crores.

About helicopter services, Lumar said it proved to be very popular as ticket sales touched Rs 13.66 crores against last year’s Rs 11 crores.

The CEO said 42 pilgrims died during the pilgrimage which includes one Muslim pilgrim from Ajmer. The oldest pilgrim who died was 82-years-old, and the youngest 13. Last year 45 pilgrims had died.

The Governor also gave away mementos and certificates to 120 officers and personnel of civil administration, army, BSF, CRPF, Jammu and Kashmir Police, telecom department and others who helped in the smooth conduct of the yatra.

Yatri Niwas, a low-budget hotel for Pahalgam tourists

PAHALGAM (SRINAGAR): Keen to promote a tourism-friendly environment for students, the Jammu and Kashmir tourism department has opened ‘Yatri Niwas’, a budget hotel in Pahalgam.
State Tourism Minister Muhammad Dilawar Mir, who inaugurated the hotel recently, said students and educational institutions would given a concession of 50 per cent on the accommodation front.
A low-budget hotel will provide accommodation to tourists at a tariff of Rs 300, while for students, it will be Rs 150, Mir said.
The 50-room budget hotel has been constructed at a cost of Rs 820 million and can accommodate upto 1400 people.
Until now tourists had to stay out in the open, or in tented accommodations in very cold temperatures.

Dr Trehan to adapt Laripora, Pahalgam as model village

M HYDERI, GreaterKashmir Srinagar, Sept 2: A model village where public health and hygiene will be of vital importance and villagers won’t only be literate but internet savvy is likely to be a reality soon in Laripora, a countryside area near Pahalgam in south Kashmir’s Islamabad district.
 Famed cardiothoracic and vascular surgeon, Dr Naresh Trehan having over 50 thousand successful surgeries to his credit has planned to adopt the village of nearly half a thousand population, in collaboration with an NGO Help and Care Welfare Society (HCWS).
 “We’re going to adopt a village. It will be the first model village, the pilot project,” Dr Naresh told Greater Kashmir here during his short visit to Kashmir to provide free consultation to cardiac patients.
 After Laripora, he said later some more villages would be adopted on similar lines. “The objective of the village will be to provide clean drinking water to the people of the village…create property sanitary system so that sewage system goes into septic tanks. Besides, free education including computer literacy will be imparted to the villagers,” he said.
 Dr Trehan said the project would lay emphasis on the utilization of bio-friendly fuel and manures in Laripora by conversion of garbage into biogas and manure.
 He said the project is in the planning stage and once started will take around six months to commission. “It will take few months to start,” he added.
 Dr Naresh hopes that results of the project would be of huge benefit for the villagers.
 The medico who is also the Chairman of Global Health Private Limited said his organization is already successfully running such model villages in UP and Haryana. Improvement in health and sanitary conditions on modern lines has drastically reduced ailments like gastroenteritis and malaria, common in those model villages.
 “We have done this there also and the amount of ailments reduced by 70 percent improving the health outcomes.”
 Dr Naresh’s key ally in the project, Ramesh Kitchloo a Kashmiri who heads HCWS said it was his long pending dream to facilitate his homeland in getting the model village.
 “My brethren, the people of Kashmir have been suffering for many years and I always desired to do something for them,” Kitchloo said.
 Kicthloo in collaboration with Dr Naresh’s Cardiology Unit is already hosting free medical cams for patients in Kashmir for the past two years.
 Sunday was the second anniversary when Dr Naresh and other medicos including DR Balbir Singh and Dr Ravi R Kasnival attended the camps. Earlier the medical camps were held in Srinagar alone.
 “Now, we have fully started camps in various other districts also so that this treatment caters to entire Valley,” Kitchloo said.
 “Such camps have also decreased the follow-up visits of the patients who have had treatment done in the big hospitals in the metro towns. Now because of this Community Outreach OPD the patients are getting the follow-p checkup and consultation done at their door step without spending lot of money,” said a senior consultant while attending patients at the camp held at a hotel here.
 Besides, the two organizations offer special schemes for the underprivileged Kashmiri children suffering of cardiac ailments who parents can’t afford the cost of treatments.
 “Already four children were operated under this scheme all of them are surviving and live a healthy life,” said Dr Naresh.
 Presently, Dr Naresh who works with Apollo Hospital in New Delhi is constructing a state-of-the-art health care institute –the Medicity in Gurgaon.
 “Medicity has been conceived to create an institution of world class standards to provide seamless tertiary care of the highest quality. It further aims to create synergies between modern medicine and traditional forms of medicine with dual objective of lowering the patient trauma and availability at an affordable price,” a Medicity spokesman said, adding that “it (Medicity) will create a private high end integrated multi specialty tertiary healthcare delivery network with a capacity of over 1600 beds, 48 operation rooms.”
 Commenting over the prestigious project likely to be commissioned next year, Dr Naresh said, “Treatments not only for the rich but for the poor also is my mission.”