To promote tourism and attract more tourists to Kashmir valley, the Department of Tourism Wednesday kick started a 2-day long Shikara Festival at Santoor Ghat SKICC on the banks of world famous Dal Lake.
After inaugurating the Shikara Festival, Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar, Dr Farooq Ahmad Lone, Director Tourism, Mehmood Ahmad, Deputy Director Tourism, Peerzada Zahoor Ahmad besides local and non local tourists took a Shikara ride upto Zabarwan park.
During the festival various events are being held including Shikara Race, Dragon Boat Race and Canoe Polo Match besides cultural programmes depicting traditional heritage and culture of Kashmir would be presented.
Speaking on the occasion, Deputy Commissioner said that Shikara is the identity of Kashmir and tourists feel incomplete journey to valley without Shikara ride. He said various initiatives have been undertaken by the government to boost tourism and increase the tourist flow besides improve state’s economy and create employment avenues for locals.
Director Tourism said that department is making concerted efforts to boost tourism industry and promote J&K as an all time tourist destination. He said tourism department has held number of awareness cum attraction programmes across the country to showcase the state as a unique tourism product to bring maximum visitors to Kashmir. He said department is organizing several events for the promotion of tourism industry and hoped such initiative will definitely send a positive message to the people living outside the state to attract them towards J&K.
On the sidelines of the function, tourists expressed their views and said that they feel highly excited to visit tourist destinations of Kashmir and said that they will take along the message of peace and love to their respective states about J&K. They also appealed people living across the globe to visit Kashmir and taste the unmatched beauty and hospitality here.
On the occasion, various mesmerizing cultural programmes and traditional Bandpathar were presented.