As Pahalgam was freezing with the mercury plunging to settle at minus 7.4 degrees Celsius, the two day Pahalgam Snow festival commenced on Jan 30, 2011 marked by organization of various winter sports and a cultural program. These included bhand pather, dhambali besides skiing, snow sledging, horse race. On the occasion officials and the heads of local traders’ bodies hailed the efforts of Tourism department to promote Pahalgam. Besides participants of winter sports, a large number of people and tourists were present on the occasion.
This was the first winter sports festival to be organized in Pahalgam, and per the officials, this would be an on going annual feature. Tourism department is also organizing a Spring festival at Pahalgam.
Government is planning to develop Pahalgam as a world-class winter tourist destination and reportedly also introducing heli-skiing and ice-skating in a big way. Ultimately if tourists and skiers accept Pahalgam as a significant ski and snow sport destination would depend on efforts made by the private tourism operators in introducing pragmatic facilities and visitor plans.