1 Nov 2020
Located in the north of the Sind valley, lies the small yet beautiful district of Ganderbal. A mix of snow clad mountains, lush green meadows & dense alpine forests all of which beautifies Ganderbal. Truly a heaven on the earth, with its pristine lakes breath taking backdrop picturesque scenic beauty and salubrious weather makes it one of the most desirable places
to visit in the Kashmir valley, aspects surely to rejuvenate your mind, body & soul.
The beauty of the region attracts tourists from all over the world be it for trekking, mountaineering,camping, river rafting, trout fishing, local sightseeing trips or spiritual pilgrimages, Ganderbal is the one stop place that offers you all. This peaceful region is home to a number of diverse ethnic communities to including Gujjars, Bakarwals, Kashmiri Pandits,
and Sikhs etc.
The well-knownKheerBhawani Temple along with the ruins of the Narayannag Temple are considered to be the holy land having a strong religious belongingness to the Hindu community.It forms an important part of Hindu cultures which was active in its full fervour back in the days almost 3 decades ago. Even to this day worshippers of the Hindu community come to offer their prayers in the month of Apr-May. The journey starts from the Naranag Temple followed by a treacherous trek of almost 8 hours to the pristine Gangbal lake loc in the foothills of the Mt Harmukh at an alt of almost 16890ft.
Amarnathyatra has always set an example of communal harmony between the local Muslims and Hindu pilgrims and it has always been cherished by the people. Local people here provide a range of services to the pilgrims and it generates opportunities for them to serve people and also link themselves with blessing.
Tourism is considered as an important industry in the state of J&K in general and in Ganderbal in particular. Though the state’s economy is largely dependent on agriculture and horticulture, tourism is still considered as the backbone of the economy as it generates large
scale employment opportunities.
The government has started identifying other virgin destinations of Kashmir and has earmarked authorities for the development of the same. It is imperative to assess the carrying capacity of tourist attractions especially for new and emerging destinations. The present work is an attempt to highlight the tourisms potential of unexplored areas in Ganderbal district,
which have immense potential for ecotourism development.
Apart from the scenic beauty of Ganderbal various govt projects are underway that give Ganderbal strategic importance. During winters the valley of sonamarg remains closed while it is an ideal place for skiing, however with the Z Morh tunnel project which is under way at war
footing, in coming years the Sonamarg valley would be open for locals and tourists for winter sports.
Ganderbal has also been a centre for education with a well-established primary, Middle & higher secondary education institutions. These include both govtrun &pvt schools. Central university of Kashmir, Govt poly Tech College, govtDegree College, engineering college, paramedical institute & NIT (Kangan) HarmukhTrekking Centre provides the avid trekkers with various diploma courses in mountaineering. The region is famous for its walnut varieties &trout fisheries. Ganderbal has a well-developed irrigation facility that ensures good farming& cultivation to the locals.
Besides its immense tourism potential, Ganderbal is an epitome of peace and stability in a politically volatile Kashmir which has been marked by violence and disruptions for the past few years. Ganderbal district has always been an example for rest of the Kashmir for maintaining peace and tranquility. People of Ganderbal are peace loving and have never been in support to the terrorism.
They are heavily dependent upon tourism and they also want that peace should always prevail in this region. With this as a backdrop, they have never been part of any violent political resistance or have ever supported it, no stone pelting on Army convoys or Amarnath convoys in the region are the testimony to the existing status of peace and Harmony. Restoration of 4G services in Ganderbaldist (only district in Kashmir) further substantiates the fact that Ganderbal is the most peaceful district in Kashmir. Ganderbal district is inching towards development with every passing day and other districts should emulate the same.
Amongst all the places in Kashmir,Ganderbal stands out with its rich culture, heritage, traditions and the mix of various sects of people and communities. The area binds together the local populace and people from different religion into one strand of peace and Harmony.