Continuing the programme to take stock of infrastructural development activities at various tourist places in Valley, Director Tourism Kashmir Mahmood Ahmad Shah Sunday visited Aharbal Development Authority (ADA) and inspected tourism related assets there.
The Director was accompanied by Project Monitoring Consultant from Government of India Umar Khan and Chief Executive Officer ADA, Mohammad Shafi Kakroo, besides engineering staff of tourism department.
During the visit, the Director inspected hutment area in Aharbal which has 4 huts of double bedroom and one cafeteria, a newly constructed tree hut and Tourist Information Center. He also visited Aharbal waterfall, besides tourism assets at Gurwattan which is 2.4 km away from the main park at Tourist Information Center. At Gurwattan, the department has developed well designed three bedroom cottage, besides existing three huts of two bedrooms, ‘A shaped’ trekkers’ hut and a Dak Bunglow.
Pertinently, Aharbal, a tourist destination, is 75 kilometers far from Srinagar in Kulgam district at an altitude of 2266 meters above sea level is famous for its waterfall. The resort is easily accessible from Srinagar and lies 8 kilometers left of Srinagar-Poonch Mughal road.
The Vishav river which traverse the pine-covered mountain of Pir Panjal range tumble down straight 25 meters down the rock at Aharbal creating magical waterfall. The sheer volume of the river that comes crashing down on the rocks blow is enough to make its roar audible from a distance.
Ahead of Aharbal one can visit Sedaw village which is famous for potato production. The Rolling Meadows covered with confers en-route Aharbal from Shopian.
Aharbal is also the base station for trekking to many high altitude places like Kongwattan meadows, Chiranbal meadows, Zachimarag meadows, Mashi Nag and Niksar and Kousar Nag (13500mt).
The Tourism department is developing the destination for leisure and adventure tourism. Rafting, Zipline and angling activities are also being promoted at Aharbal. “The department has established cottages here and future development of destination would be on eco-friendly basis, some sites of area will be developed as camping sites,” the Director said.
Many adventure lovers from and outside state trek to Kounsarnag which is second largest high altitude lake in Valley with an area of 110 hectares.
Mahmood Shah said the department would develop the Aharbal as eco-friendly tourism destination and a camping site, adding that landscaping will also be improved to make it more attractive for the visitors. He said the department is making all out efforts to develop virgin and unseen tourist spots to divert the influx of tourists to off-beat destinations like Aharbal, Yousmarg, Doodpathri, Gurez so that carrying capacity of the major tourist places like Gulmarg, Pahalgam and Sonamarg is maintained during the peak season.
Later, the Director visited Padpawan on Mughal road.