Emerging As Major Tourist Attraction
Famed tourist spot Aharbal, known for its burbling waterfall has again sprung to life with government lifting COVID-19 restrictions on public parks and tourist places. Over past several years, Aharbal has turned out to be a major attraction for tourists due to the significant attention given to the development of infrastructure in the area.
Located around 27 kms from South Kashmir’s Kulgam town and 14 kms from Shopian, the area is abuzz with both local as well as outstation tourists. “Every year we come to picnic here. This place gives us a heavenly feeling”, said a family from Srinagar.
Aharbal, also known as “Niagara Falls of Kashmir”, is a hill station in the south-western part of Kashmir Valley in Jammu and Kashmir. The place is quite peaceful and suitable for expeditions, trekking, photography, and fishing. Due to mesmerizing look of meadows, pine and fir tree forests, the abutting snow clad mountains, the waterfall attracts many national and international tourists.
Government Push for Tourism
Ghalib Mohidin Shah CEO Ahrabal Development Authority while talk to media said that on weekends around eight thousand people visited the area. “Budgeted accommodations, restaurants, water points and many public conveniences have been constructed in the area”, said Shah
According to Shah, fencing has also been erected around the awe-inspiring waterfall to contain the accidents. “We have also deployed security guards around the waterfall to make sure that people would not draw very close to the water fall”, he said.
The authorities have a flurry of plans in pipeline to tap the maximum tourist potential of the area. “We will hold festivals, introduce adventure tourism like Zorbing and promote tracking”, said Shah.
He said that the upper areas including Chiranbal, Kongwaten and Kausarnag would also be developed. “A proposal has already been sent to Directorate of Tourism for the funds”, Shah added.
To give further impetus to tourism and responding to the long pending demand of people, the government is also planning to roll out a cable car in Ahrabal.
Jammu and Kashmir Cable Car Corporation (JKCCC) has been already invited to carry out a technical and feasibility survey in the area. “It may be introduced from Sedow to Aharbal”, said Shah. He, however, said that the technical experts would have a final say.