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Tourists flock to snow-covered Gulmarg

Gulmarg (Jammu and Kashmir) [India]: Gulmarg in Jammu and Kashmir’s Baramula district has received its first spell of snow.

The MeT department has recorded 1.4 mm of snowfall, which is about 2-3 inches.

The overnight snowfall has brought temperatures down by several notches, but this has not deterred tourists from enjoying the first snowfall.

Snow-covered trees, buildings and roads added to the joyous atmosphere around. People were seen walking in snow and playing with snowballs.

Mani Mohammed, a tourist from South Africa, said, “This is the first time we are seeing snow and it is absolutely beautiful. We hope that people of Kashmir enjoy it and many, many tourists come so that you have a good December and a good winter.”

The state is a well known tourist destination for winter activities such as skating, sledge rides, cable car rides and skiing, which makes tourism one of the mainstays of the state’s economy.

The tourism authorities of the state are trying their best to woo back because few people had visited the Himalayan region due to unrest. But now, situation is improving gradually.

Asserting that there was no safer place in the world for tourists than the Kashmir Valley, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday invited tourists from across the nation and the world to visit the Gulmarg Snow Festival in January.

“It’s an open invitation to the world to soak in the hospitality of Kashmir. It is going to snow soon and Kashmir calls on the world to come here and enjoy. In January, we are going to have a snow festival in Gulmarg and I invite everyone,” she said.

Emphasising on Kashmir as a haven when it comes to the safety of tourists especially women, Mufti said that compared to situation in the rest of the nation, female tourists are the safest in the Valley.

“There is no other safer place for tourists than Kashmir, especially women. We keep hearing what happens with women in other parts of the nation, compared to that women are safe here. We welcome more female tourists here and assure that they will be well taken care of,” she said. (ANI)