Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir): The Jammu and Kashmir government has started special city tours to revive heritage tourism and attract cultural and heritage lovers from across the world towards Kashmir.
To promote culture, heritage and overall tourism, the department of tourism has invited twenty-two tour operators from Maharashtra, Pune. The tour operators will make the tourists visit several places of great heritage importance, archaeological sites, shrines, mosques, temples besides giving them insights into cuisines and handicrafts.
To make this drive successful, the tourism department has started the Srinagar City Heritage Tour Bus Service for tourists to showcase the heritage sites, cuisines and handicrafts of the city to enhance the experience of visitors thronging the region from across the world.
During this special drive, the guest tour operators, local tour operators and some professional guides visit prominent sites of Srinagar city including Burzahom, Gurudwara Chati Patshahi, Jama Masjid, Hazratbal, Harwan Monastery, a Buddhist site where the first Buddhist conference was held two thousand years before.
"Our motive is to promote overall tourism including cultural, heritage, so that's why we are reviving our old aged activities which were normal decades back. So, we hope with this drive, the guest tour operators will become our ambassadors and they will play a positive role and help us to promote Kashmir tourism "said G N Itoo Director Tourism Kashmir.
"We have organised many activities one of the activities is a revival of heritage sites. In this tout, We showcase Hari Parvat, Pari mahal, Shankaracharya temples, gurudwaras, mosques, Burzahom in Kashmir. Then, there is Kashmiri cuisine which is a big heritage. To showcase all of this, we are flagging off the tours. A group of 22 tourists have come here from Maharashtra. We are going to show them the sites," he added.
"We want to thank J&K tourism as through this, the travellers will see many things apart from Gulmarg. The travellers could see heritage sites," said Poonam, Maharashtra Tour Operator.
"Earlier, people used to be fearful to come to Kashmir. We have come from Pune. We want to say that there is nothing to fear. Kashmir is completely safe. There are much more to see in Kashmir than we can see in other cities. One can see the beauty which they will find no one else," said Ramakant, Tour Operator Pune.
"We have come from Maharashtra. We are lucky to have come here. If the government invests more in Kashmir tourism, then it is no less than Switzerland," said Diya, a tourist.
"It is a good initiative. We have shown the sites that we did not show them before. There is a Buddhist monastery, national parks, Mughal gardens," said Maqbool, a Tourist Guide. (ANI)