Tosamaidan King of meadows needs to be
developed as adventurous tourist place.
LET’S first smile in pride as we go through the lines
by the famous poet Akhtar Shirani. His nazm on
Kashmir is beautiful and much-loved.
Jannat ki goya tasveer dekho,
tasveer kaisii, Kashmīr dekho;
Dilkash nazaare, Kashmir ke hain,
kul siin pyaare, Kashmir ke hain
shaffaaf nahren, bal khane vaalii,
kaali ghataaen, lahraane vaalii….
Hain baagh is ke shadaab kaise,
aur phuul phal hain, nayaab kaise;
baaġh aur banon par, chhaae hain baadal
ghir ghir ke kaise, aaen hain baadal;
ye sarzameen bhi, kitni haseen hai,
kashmir kyaa hai, ḳhuld-e-barin hai
Jannat kaa tukda, sab kiyaariyaan hain,
kya ḳhoobsoorat phul-vaariyaan hain,
Saare jahaan ki, zeenat hai Kashmir
Hindostaan ki jannat hai Kashmir…
Dekho, Kashmir dekho…
Indeed, our Kashmir is gifted with a beautiful
mesmerising beauty. And thousands of tourists,
national and international, celebrate it as they
explore varied destinations like Srinagar,
Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Sonmarg for natural
beauty as well as adventure tourism like skiing,
rafting, trekking and more.
But Kashmir has much unexplored or lesser
known beauty beyond these tourist
destinations too. There are places in the Valley
where one can lose oneself to Nature’s bounty.
Among such gems is the Tosamaidan meadow
in Central Kashmir’s Budgam District. Famously
known as the ‘king of meadows’, it boasts a
vast meadow hemmed in by mesmerising snow
capped mountains and views all around.
Tosamaidan sits nestled in Khag Tehsil’s Pir
Panchal mountain range. It also finds a mention
in history books as a passage way to the
Poonch Valley in earlier times. The meadow is
among the largest in the Valley, covering 3
miles in length and 1.5 miles in width.
Imagine the beauty as you see sky-kissing
Deodars fencing the meadow shining with its
lush green carpet in the summer months.
During the summer months, you would often
see the local community of shepherds and
Gujjars staying here with their flocks for grazing
since this is one among the largest pastures in
the Valley. Also, a large number of people from
adjacent villages love exploring it during
summers. Nature lovers are enthralled at its
natural beauty, soul soothing environment,
forest cover and fresh environment.
Tosamaidan holds great potential to be a hot
tourist destination in the Valley. This place
offers a wide range of adventure tourism
activities like trekking, mountaineering,
camping, paragliding and lake boat rafting etc,
which can turn out to be the main tourist
pullers to this meadow. If this place were
pitched as a tourist hotspot, it would not only
satisfy the visiting adventure explorers, but
would also pull in good revenue for the locals.
Tosamaidan can indeed be a wonderful
addition to the tourism map of Kashmir.
The lake trek in the area can actually help
tourists explore the meadow and its landscape.
The major trekking lakes here are Bandarsar,
Damam Sar, Shifa Naag, Gada Tar (Fish Lake)
etc. These lakes are beautiful with their
colourful stones and crystal clear waters. The
lyrical sound of the streams and the breeze
passing through the dense forests here can
make for delicious music.
As we talk to the natives of the area, they tell
us that indeed if this place is developed, it will
open opportunities for the unemployed
educated youth of the Valley. The inflow of
foreign and domestic tourists to this
unexplored meadow will up the revenue
generation for the population in the adjacent
villages and will help them evolve out of the
economic hardships due to meagre sources of
income. They feel that the tourism department
must take measures to bring this beautiful
meadow on the tourism map of Jammu and
Kashmir as soon as possible.
A group of trekkers in the area says that
indeed, this place has a lot of potential to be
among the best adventure tourism spots in the
Valley. But for that, the Tourism department
and visiting trekkers should help promote it
nationally as well as internationally. Besides,
the government also needs to develop
infrastructure in the region with proper road
connectivity. Right now, the absence of good
connectivity by road is a big pull-down for the
The administrative machinery of the Budgam
District would do well to work in collaboration
with the Tourism department to prioritise the
overall development of the Tosamaidan
meadow on a fast-track basis as per eco
tourism standards. After all, this natural bounty
must be shared and celebrated.