BANDIPORA: Winters in Bandipora have remained vibrant due to the winter carnival organised by the District Administration. The carnival warmed up the atmosphere and youth were seen actively participating in winter festivals at select unexplored tourist resorts of the district.
The Authwatto tourist resort on Wednesday witnessed an unusual rush despite heavy Snow accumulation in the area as youth from all across the valley converged at the spot to bid farewell to the winter and feel the natural beauty of the resort.
District Administration Bandipora in collaboration with Ali Sports Academy Wednesday organised a first ever grand event at Athwatto, a picturesque valley in Bandipora with an aim to explore the potential of the area for winter tourism and winter sports.
The caravan of hundreds of enthusiastic and adventure loving youth lead by Deputy Commissioner (DC) BANDIPORA, Dr Owais Ahmad were welcomed by soulful Gojri tribal songs sung by local artists.
As part of the ongoing Winter Carnival Bandipora, the District Administration organized first of its kind Snow festival at Authwatto village. The festival evoked tremendous response from not only the locals of the area but from adventure lovers from other districts as well.
The locals were jubilant and lauded the District Administration for conducting the first ever winter festival at Authwatto.
“People from other villages would start coming to this place from May when snow melts but this year it is unusual to see huge rush of people in village despite huge snow accumulation,” said Ali Mohammad Khan, a resident.
The festival witnessed range of activities including colorful local Gojri cultural performances, Snow sports activities like Sheen Jung (Snow fight), Snow Kabaddi, Snow Rugby, trekking, camping and photography of the scenic natural beauty covered in white blanket of Snow. The stalls erected by different departments attracted a large gathering of people too.
“Today we felt warmth despite sub-zero temperature, the positive energy in youth forced us to come out of our homes as we usually stay indoors in such cold temperature,” said another senior citizen Gh Mohiudin Khatana.
Display of special local cuisine was also the main highlights of the day.
Earlier, the local tribal community welcomed the DC Bandipora with traditional songs and in their local attires.
Among the various prominent persons attending the grand event include Vice chairperson DDC Kousar Shafiq, ADDC Bandipora Ali Afsar Khan, ADC Bandipora Waseem Raja, Nodal officer coordination M A Hakak, JDP Bandipora Imtiyaz Ali, SSP Bandipora Lakshay Sharma, ASP bandipora Aashiq Hussain Tak, CEO Bandipora, DFO Bandipora, Exen’s , PRIs, Padma Shri Faisal Ali Dar and other officials and staff of other concerned department besides large gathering of people of adjacent areas.
A delegation from Tourism Travel trade including social media influencers headed by a renowned Adventure Tour Operator attended the event and assured the administration and locals that they will ensure promotion of the area and will bring a large number of tourists to Authwatto in coming months.
The DC appreciated the organsiers for organizing the festival. He said such festivals turned the otherwise boring and chilling cold days into warm adventurous days. He said these festivals not only help to explore the tourism potential of these villages but also help youth to channelize their energy in some productive works rather than just killing the time. He urged the youth to stay away from drugs and utilize their leisure time in fruitful activities instead of falling in bad companies.
During his speech he congratulated the local people and PRIs who worked day and night to make this event successful and grand.
He also heard grievances from locals and PRIs and assured locals that all grievances including network connectivity and roads will be redressed in this year.
He said they are making plan for this year and urged people to take part in the planning process. He also asked people to keep your surroundings and tourist places like this clean and follow the Swach plan.
It was revealed that in the coming days various grand festivals are being organized at offbeat places like Aragam etc.