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.
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.
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.
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.