KC NEWS DESK
Lolab: Lolab Valley, also known as ‘Wadi-e-Lolab’ or ‘Lolov’ is fast becoming a favourite tourist destination as hundreds of domestic visitors visited the valley this summer.
However, a lot needs to be done for its development that includes widening of roads and other tourist infrastructure.
The unique beauty of the Lolab’s entry gate, 9 km north of Kupwara is a pathway to this oval-shaped valley floor with stunning beauty and sprawling mountain ranges.
For the past many years, the encounters between security forces and terrorists were the order of the day in Lolab as the valley is a link to some areas along the Line of Control (LoC) and used to be a transit area for terror activities.
Lolab boasts stretches of apple, cherry, peach, apricot, and walnut orchards, giving it the status of ‘Fruit Bowl of Kashmir’ but it barely welcomes tourists throughout the year.
Even though it lies 100 km from Srinagar and takes roughly 4 hours to reach by road, the valley’s beauty makes it worth taking that much time out.
In Lolab Valley, domestic tourists are not missing out on exploring the Kalaroos Caves, which, according to a legend, hides a direct route to Russia and massive water bodies inside.
Although the visitor cannot enter the caves to validate the beliefs, the exterior is a majestic sight as well.
The tourists also visit many lakes that dot the valley – Gangbal Lake being most popular.
If trekked, it follows the trail to Apharwat Peak.
Lolab is rich in eco-tourism and adventure tourism.
There are many places in Lolab that attract nature lovers and a few of them have historical significance as well.
Among them are Warnow, Affan, Doban, Khurhuma, and Kuligam (on Putnai side); Chandigam, Sogam, Lalpora, Putushai, Dorusa, Tekipora (in Brohnai area); and Kalaroos.
There are many meadows that provide breathtaking scenery and soothing views like Amari, Trumukh, Bumsi, Nagmarg, Keemsar, Nichan, and Lushkoot.
Nagmarg, Keemsar, Nichan and Lushkoot are very close to Lolab Valley and people can reach here by foot or by horse from there.
“This summer hundreds of domestic tourists visited various sites here,” said Abdul Majeed of Chandigam, Lolab. “Their visits generated employment opportunities.”
He said that though the government had taken a lot of steps to develop Lolab as a complete tourist destination, a lot needed to be done.
“The roads need to be widened more and there is still a lack of tourist infrastructure,” he said.
The Tourism Department has constructed rest houses and huts at some places, but the stakeholders say that it is not enough to make it a complete tourist destination.