The confinement to the four walls of the house in the wake of the Covid pandemic has also caused a great urge to escape from those walls. More and more youths these days are going out for trekking and on tours within the valley to explore new areas and for adventure. Recently we chanced upon and explored a beautiful natural area in Rafiabad’s upper Kandi block. There were vast sprawling green meadows and snow-capped peaks around. We were able to enjoy panoramic views of different shades of Baramulla, Uri and Nowgam Handwara areas.
Cool breeze and rain splashes greet trekkers, birders, and visitors to the area and infuse life and jubilation in even melancholic moods. The Boos and Gabiwar picnic spots are 15km from Ladoora, and from the other side Hamam Markot is a 20-km trek. It is an adventure destination for trekkers, climbers, mountaineers and eco-tourists. A less-known shrine is situated in dramatic picturesque forests. Here the scant presence of Gujjar Bakerwals makes it an abode of peace and tranquillity. From the heights we can view the small simple hamlets in the sweeping valley below.
There is an easy motor ride to Munddachi, which is full of Deodar trees and a fabulous place to get lost. The plentiful flora coupled with aromatic plants refreshes the brains. It is a natural sanctuary for wild birds and animals. The atmosphere remains abuzz with songs of wild birds. Kittter Dachi is an area where we relished crystal-clear water, swift waterfall, small cataracts, and gushing springs. The road leading to these spots continues on to several villages from Dangiwacha Tehsil headquarters along the pristine rivulet Humal. The rivulet has a splendid look and also quenches the thirst of weary trekkers.
Sathrena, Zethan and Dalri are popular picnic spots, especially for children who play and frolic in the natural ambience. In these three villages the forest cover is ideal for apiculture, pisciculture, and floriculture. There are refreshing and rejuvenating spots for family trips due to their easy access and comfortable road connectivity. The people of Kandi area are genial, hospitable, and cultured.
The need of the hour for the government to establish a Rafiabad Development Authority to develop the potential for tourism while conserving the natural environment. This picturesque but vulnerable area has to be protected from all hazards.
—The writer is an environmental activist based in Rafiabad. [email protected]