Fairs and festivals have long been existing as a part of traditional cultures around the world. It is an opportunity where one can experience entertainment, scrumptious delicacies and can indulge in community events. The world comprises many countries, cities, towns and villages. A plethora of cultures are prevalent across the globe where fests and fairs imply the congregation of masses for entertainment, social bonding, fun and frolic. Fests are a place to exchange cultural creativity and productivity. The culture of fests and fairs started between the year 1000 AD and 1200 AD. The oldest fair in Indian history happens to be the ‘Kumbh Mela’.
Kashmir too, the rest of India, is characterized by its own set of by fair and fests. One such is the Lolab Fest – to be celebrated this year amidst much grandeur, in the Lolab Valley of North Kashmir’s Kupwara district. Lolab is known as the Land of Love and Beauty. Travelers visiting Lolab sometimes visit the resting place of the renowned Saint Rishi Kashyap, which is believed to be located at Lalpora village. Another noteworthy destination which can be found nearby is a spring called Lavnag. The spring is three feet deep and has crystal clear water. Gauri spring is another major spring in the area. Due to the lack of desired level of attention, the place has a very poor influx of tourists, which keeps its potential for tourism still untapped. This place still manages to be one of the top most preferred camping sites in Kashmir valley with its mesmerizing views. Some famous tourist attractions in the Lolab Valley include Nagmarg meadows camping site, Chandigam, Nao Gali, Gyun Gali and pastures of Diver Anderbugh.
The valley of Lolab after reeling under militancy for several years recorded retarded economic development and suffered heavily in terms of development and financial prosperity. The aim of Lolab Fest is to rekindle the available opportunities in terms of tourism and small-scale skill and micro industries through an appealing format.
Lolab Fest also serves as an opportunity to showcase the beauty of Lolab on the world map by attracting tourists, spreading awareness about different government schemes, job opportunities in the administration and marks the dawn of peace in the region. This would certainly go a long way in changing the perception of local populace and people outside the valley, about Lolab.
Since every event is an amalgamation of various precursory events, Lolab Fest – 2022 is no different. The date of the Lolab Fest – 2022 has been finalized as 05 September 2022, however the festivities begin with the Lolab Premier League T20 Tournament at Tekipora Sports Ground in which a total of 16 teams from Lolab Valley are scheduled to participate. Moreover, the Lolab Premier League would also help in identifying local talent in the field of cricket. A Large number of guests including government officials and people from all walks of life are expected to attend the fest with the primary audience being young adults, women, children and prominent people from Kashmir. The theme for this year’s Lolab Fest is based on “Kashmiriyat” with special emphasis on highlighting the rich cultural heritage of Kashmir to mark it as a symbol of religious harmony, peace and tranquility. Lolab Fest – 2022 would also serve as an apt platform to project the varied and diverse cultural heritage of Kashmir to the rest of the country with an aim to attract tourists from all across the nation and the world.
Various other events which would be a run up to the Grand Finale scheduled on 05 September 2022 are Lolab Football Tournament, Girls’ Volleyball Tournament, Trekking Expedition, Tiranga Bike Rally, Mega Medical and Artificial Limb Camp and Mega Cultural Program just to mention a few. In addition to this large number of stalls will also be placed to provide knowledge on respective subjects by promoting employment opportunities to the local youth. Stalls would be from departments like Horticulture, Agriculture, Tourism, Handloom, Banks and many more. A two-hour cultural program showcasing the local talent and Kashmiri culture will also be organized at the Lolab Fest site after the inauguration of the fest. Conduct of Lolab Fest for local populace, youth and the Awam of Kashmir will be beneficial to the locals to promote unexplored tourism in Lolab Valley. The vast meadows, pastures and the rice fields in this season are bound to mesmerize the visitors for sure.