Himachal route to Ladakh impacts Jammu’s summer business, traders peeved

Bharti Jasrotia

Believe it or not the tourism of Jammu and Kashmir is affecting badly. Firstly due to direct train to Vaishno Devi and now due to direct bus service to Ladakh via Manali route.

Much to the loss of Jammu and Kashmir tourism industry, Himachal Pradesh government, through its vigorous campaign has successfully projected the hilly state as base camp for high-end tourists visiting Ladakh region. Sources said that J&K government seems least interested in attracting the tourist influx through its own highway circuit traversing two regions with   huge potential of adventure, leisure and religious tourism.

“On the other hand HP government is cashing the opportunity by providing all required facilities to tourists at Manali and other towns en route, to make HP as base camp for Ladakh” they added. Recently the Himachal Road transport corporation has started a direct bus service to Leh-ladakh via manali, the fare of the bus is so less that anybody can avail this opportunity and for one way ticket it will only cost Rs 1365.

Statistics revealed that most the tourists including foreigners prefer to travel the world famous mountainous region via 474 kilometer Leh-Manali Highway of Himachal Pradesh (HP) avoiding 434 kilometer Leh-Srinagar Highway due to HP government’s active promotion campaign and facilities provided by that government en-route.

They said that HP tourism department provides camping experience to travelers at Shimla, Manali and other important towns and facilities of rental bikes for expedition to Leh, while “no such facility is available in Jammu or Srinagar.”

They added that HP successfully promoted Keylong and Rotang passes as major destinations en route Leh. “But Jammu and Kashmir Government has failed to cash this opportunity despite having places of historical importance like Kargil, Drass- second coldest inhabited place in the world after Siberia, Magnetic Hill, Patther Sahib Gurudwara and numerous heritage Monasteries along Srinagar-Kargil- Leh Highway.”

It seems that the State government is least interested in attracting tourist to their state. Moreover Ladakh ius considered ro be as the best tourist spot which attracts many adventure lovers and bikers across the country but, it seems that just like Jammu Ladakh will also lose its importance as  lot of facilities are provided to the tourists who chose to go via Manali.

This is the peak time when the state government would take a serious step to attract tourists to their state and also to encourage tourism in their state. The state government should also start direct bus services to ladakh so that tourist can visit to ladakh without any inconvenience.


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