Govt must take practical steps to boost religious tourism: Bhalla

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During a function at Narwal Pain, Satwari in Gandhi Nagar constituency, Former Minister and Senior Congress Leader, Raman Bhalla said that Jammu and Kashmir has got rich cultural and religious potential to attract the pilgrimage tourists. The state has a rich cultural heritage that is reflected in the lifestyles of the native people who live in the villages in the different districts of the state.
The function was attended by many prominent people such as Sandeep Dogra, Ram Dass, Davinder Singh, Dinesh and many more. Visit to Jammu and Kashmir includes number of ancient Hindu, Muslim, Sufi and Buddhist temples, Shrines and Monasteries. Jammu region has bountiful places of Gods and Deities confined to hilly and mountainous region. Apart from this, Jammu region has a vast variety of tourist attraction to offer and holds potential for developing various tourist spots and places for pilgrimage tourism offering substantial heritage, leisure and adventure tourism to tourists of wide ranging interest, Bhalla added.
Govt must work in “mission mode” to attract tourists especially to Jammu region which has potential equivalent to that of Kashmir but has remained untapped, he said. The state government must work towards promoting Jammu as an independent tourist destination and plans to bring the region’s Dogra heritage into focus. Referring to several recreational and historical places in Jammu region, which have not been showcased so far, Bhalla said. Places like Ranjit Sagar Dam in Lakhanpur-Sarthal, Sanasar and Baghliar Dam in Patnitop, Surinsar and Mansar lakes in Udhampur and Samba, Sinthan Top, Warwan in Kishtwar, Shahdara Sharief in Rajouri, Budha Amarnath and the seven lakes in Poonch have to be sold in a big way to promote Jammu as a destination with recreational abundance, he added. He appealed CM to take practical steps to turn J&K as tourism destination in the world. Bhalla also mentioned that violence was hurting the state’s economic interests, with tourism being the biggest casualty, and sought the support of the people in maintaining peace. “Unfortunately, the state’s tourism and business fraternity has to suffer the brunt when atmosphere of peace is disturbed in the valley by violent incidents,” Bhalla said. He noted that tourism is directly linked to economic revival and J&K has been gifted by the God with breathtaking scenic beauty and water resources which need to be harnessed judiciously for tourism promotion. Seeking support of the people of the state in maintaining peace, he said, adding that tourism spreads best by the word of mouth and the players associated with the industry have played a key role in establishing a feel-good factor among the tourists.

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