A picturesque stretch of the Pir Panjal range, once a safe haven for infiltrators from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, is set to see the first motor rally to be flagged off in the Valley.
The rally, sponsored by the state tourism department, will be held from June 24 to 27. “We were inspired by Raid the Himalayas, which went from Himachal Pradesh to Ladakh in J&K... This will be the first rally (originating) in the Kashmir Valley and will give a boost to tourism in the state,” Tourism minister Nawang Rigzin Jora told HT.
Security agencies have been asked to remain on their toes to ensure that no disturbance takes place.
The national event will feature 40 top participants from the country. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had last year declared open the Mughal Road, which connects the southern part of the Valley with the Jammu region’s Rajouri and Poonch.
The rally will start in Srinagar and pass through Kishtwar, Jammu, Rajouri and Shopian, before winding back to Srinagar.
The mountains around the 175-km Mughal Road sport two types of looks — green in South Kashmir and rugged and denuded in Bufliaz (near Rajouri). “No traffic will be allowed on the routes during the rally,” Jora said.
The army has been asked to provide assistance. The rally is being organised by Himalayan Motor Sports.