Despite being gifted with scenic beauty, the tourism potential of Pathankot is still untamed. Lack of basic infrastructure is main reason that its rivers, lakes and hills have not caught the attention of the tourists.
In the north of the town, the mighty Ranjit Sagar Dam lake, which is spread over an area of 13 square km, has plenty of scope for water sports. The world-famous art gallery of paper-cutting artist Prabal Pramanik on Dalhouise Road, 25 km from the town, can attract tourists in hordes.
The hidden caves in Mukteshver village, which date back to Mahabharta times and are situated just 15 km from town, have plenty of tourism potential. Here, Ravi river takes a vibrant turn after the water is released from Ranjit Sagar Dam.
Residents of Shahpur Kandi area told HT that former MP Vinod Khanna had a dream to introduce water sports at Ranjit Sagar Dam lake, but the project didn't take shape as he lost the next election. Even if tourists want to stay here, the area lacks good hotels or lodges, due to which they have no option but to head for Dalhousie or Chamba.
The Coral Tourist Resort at Madhopur on the banks of a tributary of Ravi river on Pathankot-Jammu national highway is a hit among the tourists, but it has limited rooms to accommodate tourists, who are forced to continue the journey till Jammu before they could find a decent lodging.
Shahpur Kandi, a semi-hill area of Punjab, is full of natural beauty. Ranjit Sagar Dam has immense tourism potential
Kamal Kishan Happy, a resident of Shahpur Kandi
Madhopur is a 'neglected heaven'. Parian Wala Bagh, which was a hit among students as a picnic spot, is now a deserted place
Randhir Singh Bitta, a resident of Madhopur
The state government should help people like us who are trying to keep tourism alive. Ravi river is enough to attract tourists to the area in hordes
Dinesh Mahajan, owner of Coral Resort
I intended to promote this area as a tourist hub but didn't get cooperation from the state government. I am trying to revive the domestic airport which may bring tourists to this area.
Partap Singh Bajwa, MP