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Gulmarg is once again abuzz with tourists

Tourists from different parts of the country are once again thronging the area, reports Tejinder Singh Sodhi.

india Updated: Nov 15, 2006 18:22 IST

After a lull of almost four months following the terrorist attacks on the tourists in Srinagar, the world famous tourist destination of Gulmarg is once again abuzz with tourists.

Tourists from different parts of the country are once again thronging the area. Hotel and restaurant owners are again seeing a rise in the booking following the 'return' of tourists.

Gulmarg these days presents a splendid look with snow-covered trees and mountains has once again started attracting tourists, defying the terrorist attacks.

Anil Chopra a resident of New Delhi is on a honeymoon trip with his newly wed wife to Gulmarg and he says that it was his desire to spend his honeymoon in Gulmarg. "Earlier when I used to visit Gulmarg with my friend, I had made up my mind that I would bring my wife to Gulmarg on our honeymoon and now I along with my wife are here for the past four days enjoying life to its best." Chopra said.

Garima, wife of Anil is excited to see the snowfall for the first time in her life. She says, "I spent the whole night watching the snow fall. I cannot tell how excited I was to see the snowfall. It was a temptation that I could not have resisted."

Another couple from Mumbai who had come for the second time to Gulmarg say that at first they had some hesitation to come to Gulmarg after the tourists were targeted by terrorists in July, but after coming to Jammu and Kashmir, all their 'fears have gone away'.

"My wife was a bit afraid to come to Kashmir after the tourists were targeted in early July this year, but as I had made up my mind to come here, we landed here last week. We were so happy with the cordial welcome given to us by the people of Gulmarg and now all her fear has withered away and now she is so happy that she is enjoying every bit of it," said Anil Mahajan from Mumbai.

"Gulmarg is really splendor on earth and how could anyone live without having been to this place for at least once in a lifetime," said Shobha Mahajan wife of Anil Mahajan.

The hotel owners in Gulmarg, who underwent huge losses this year after the cancellation of bookings from tourists following the attacks on tourists in which some tourists lost their lives and scores of others were injured, are now happy that slowly but steadily, tourism industry in the state is on a revival.

"Though the tourists have once again started coming back to Gulmarg and it is a welcome step, but the number this year is much lower compared to the previous year," said Abdul Aziz, a hotel owner in Gulmarg. Adding he said, "But the return of tourists is a positive indication for the happy days to come, so we are hopeful that the number would increase in coming weeks."

Ghulam Rasool a pony owner in Gulmarg said, "The attacks on tourists had snatched our livelihood from us, we know how hard life had become for us for the last four months, but now with tourists coming to Gulmarg again we see a new ray of hope for ourselves and our family."

The tourists who have already arrived in Gulmarg are planning to spend their best time here as the second phase of Gulmarg Gondola (Cable car) has become their major attraction.

With the arrival of tourists we are hopeful that the Gondola which ran under huge loses for four months could make some profits this season," said an officer of the cable car project in Gulmarg.