Conduct tourist from Jammu to Kashmir Valley via tourist spots of Rajouri & Poonch Districts

Like Doda area ( Kishtwar, Doda and Ramban Districts ) of Jammu Province of J&K Rajouri and Poonch Districts too have remained neglected. The fate of Mugal Road started in 1978/ 79 is enough to explain the neglect. Even Agriculture and Horticulture have not been given a fair treatment. These districts too can produce temperate fruits. I had never tasted as good a peach ( Aardoo ) as had been served ( from Poonch ) to me by Chander Mohan .The pulses and the local sweat rice of Rajouri has been introduced to no one out side. Although the Mughal emperors passed through these districts on way to Kashmir Valley they did not do much for these areas. Even during pre 1947 days of the rule of the Maharaja nothing was done for promotion of tourism in these areas. Poonch was a Jagir of J&K State. The Maharaja of J&K had made Srinagar the summer capital and exposed only Kashmir Valley to the outside world. No doubt Maharaja of J&K had resource problems. Ofcourse No doubt the State Government has over last five years shown some extra interest for development of infrastructure in these districts. But much larger projects need be worked out to compensate the neglect.

These areas had suffered the most during the 1947 Pakistan sponsored tribal attack on J&K. Since 1990 Militancy has spilled a lot of innocent blood in these districts. What ever little development was taking place that too was stalled. Educationally and administratively these areas are very backward.. Majority of the people in these areas depend on government schools and are poor. The disturbances over last 21 years have further dismantled the government school education infrastructure

But there exists a lot of scope for development of commercial tourism in these districts. These districts have a number of historical places as well as religious places. Around and near these religious / historical places there are a number of sites of tourist interest with very pleasant and cool climate during hot summer days. The Shrines and places of Pilgrim LIKE BUDHA AMARNATH TEMPLE MANDI , GURDWARA NAGLI SAHEB..DASHNAMI AKHARA Poonch,. ZIARAT OF SHAHDARA Shrief RAJOURI, ZIARAT BUDGUYAL DORA POONCH, ZIARAT BATALKOT MANDI, ZIARAT GUNTRIAN POONCH, ZIARAT PAMROTE IN SURANKOTE, ZIARAT CHOTE SHAH MENDHAR can provide a bait to the visitors/ tourists.

Stay for a couple of days could be easily planned in some areas of these districts. The resorts and recreational places could be easily created. Health and holiday resorts could be promoted.

Bringing tourist from Kashmir valley to these districts and return of tourist again through Kashmir valley will do no good to these districts. Rather tourist on way to Kashmir Valley could be motivated to take route through these districts also. Even Mughals used Rajouri -Poonch track just for reaching Kashmir Valley.

The tourist after traveling warm areas upto Sunderbani could be provided the soft climate and surroundings thereafter. Ofcourse on way to Poonch Chingus and Lamberi( Nowshera) Forts could be of interest to tourist.

The tourist could be conducted along Bufliaz Shupian road .Enroute there is much waiting the tourist including adventures. In this area there are no less natural scenic beauties, lush green forests, green meadows, historic water falls, and wonderful SEVEN ALPINE LAKES (Chandan Sar / a bean shaped Chandan Sar lake has lot of floating icebergs till end of July and is located at around 3800 Mt.MSL. Chandan Sar is the source of Chamar Nalah which later joins Bufliaz Nalah( small river) near Behram Galaa,. Divya Sar is another small one kilometer size lake of the shape of a lamp. It is located at 3600mt MSL., Sukh Sar is another oval shaped lake at height of 3000 mt,. Gam Sar is another small lake at height of 3600 mt . Dhakayar peak the 4660 m, highest peak in the range over looks Gam Sar. There are some more small lakes around but at higher heights.

It is no use blaming the Kashmiri leadership for the backwardness of these areas. It would be better to work out good schemes for these districts and impress upon Government of India to assist J&K Government through special programmes. With so much time lost it would require much more time and extra funds for industrial development in this area.

To start with places of pilgrimage could be promoted. Simultaneously the infrastructure for commercial tourism could be developed. A few thousand Cr of rupees will have to be allocated instead of proposing tiny programes of 5 or 10 Cr Even one kilometer of road for flow of normal safe tourist traffic could cost minimum Rs.2 to 5 Cr. Rather to compensate for the neglect over 6 decades a high power Tourism Development Authority is required for these districts . Authority could be headed by an officer of the level not less than Additional Chief Secretary. Ofcourse there is a need to spend around Rs. 3000 to 4000 crores on infrastructure development in these areas . Had the jobs been done at the right time just only 300 to 400 crores would have met the needs. Ofcourse the Mughal road project too need be connected with the tourism development programme.

When roads and buildings are constructed some times more than half of the expenditure goes to buy direct or indirect services from the locals . The employment and business for the locals is generated. The economy improves. This would also make the job of anti national elements involved in exploiting the sentiments of poor innocent people in the name of religion more difficult. The educational backwardness would be reduced. Locals of the area would be exposed to outside information.

Himachal Pradesh has developed Dalhauji/ Dharamsala. Poonch and Rajouri too have equally good sites. The beauties of Surankot and the large and fantastic 6 kilometer maidaan near Surankot on Bufliaz road is a rare site. And a little ahead is Noori Chamb that has Chir forest and a large cascade of much more larger size than the Sahastra Dhara of Dehradoon. Just 22 Km from Noori Chamb is Budda Amaranth Shrine in Mandi. And ofcourse Mandi itself could be developed into a fantastic resting place for the tourist with a commercial approach. Budha Amarnath Temple a Yatra with Chchari /Holi Mace starts from Dashnami Akhara , Poonch in August every year.

To quote even Bhudhal area is a cool and beautiful but the town has remained neglected. Low Clouds are so frequent in Bhudhal that local people some times close the doors in the afternoon to prevent the low lying clouds enter the houses and wetting the belongings. Sungri is another beautiful hilly area near Buddal. .The local people are economically and educationally very very weak. Just 4 kilometer on foot from Bhudal on the north end of Badjari Marg is an oval shaped clear water 1 km large lake *Samot Sar.

Just 22 Km from Mandi is Loran. Six kilometers from Loren is a 10 sq Km large Gali Maidan that could surprise any imagination. Along the Mughal Raod about 20 Km from Gali Maidan large snow fields can be seen round the year. Those who have been to Rohtang Pass near Manali ( H. P) would appreciate the commercial value. The large snow fields 40 Km from Manali on way to Rohtang Pass on Manali Leh road have made Manali the most sought after tourist destination . Snow field ahead of Gali Maidan Poonch when promoted can bring thousands of tourist to this area. But infrastructure will have to be provided. Area will have to be exposed through media.

No doubt for making the Mughal Road a real link long tunnels will have to be made a part of the project. For doing so State needs to involve experienced professional design and construction companies so that over three decades delayed project in completed by atleast 2014.

About 90 Kilometer stretch from Bufliaz Poonch to Shopian if completed would enable the economy of the area to take astonishing leaps. The route has historical sites, historical remains, lush green large meadows, meadows, pastures and passes. There are many potential villages like Aliabad Saraie, Poshana, Dugeran, Behram Galla, Dhera ki Gali and , Noori Chamb for development of commercial tourism. The Panj Saran track from 12000 ft high Peer Pass to 8500 ft High Rattan Peer could attract travelers and tourists from world over.

The altitudes are mentioned need verification since not much data is available for general information on these areas that have remained neglected.

Valleys at heights as large as 12000 ft in Pir Panjal range are just 6 to 7 kilometers from Aliabad Sarai. Mountain peaks of Ganga Chauti, Tatta Ktti, Kagalana etc have no equals. Adventure tourism could attract travelers and tourists from world over. The glaciers in this area and on these routes would open flood gates for TOURIST Traffic and bring fortunes to the people of State.