Tourist spot Bota Pathri in Jammu and Kashmir opened up for visitors after 22 years on Monday.
The popular tourist spot, which is also called the Nagin Valley, had been closed to tourists due to militant related threats.
State Tourism Minister Nawang Rigzin Jora praised the Indian Army for restoring peace in the area. He also added that with the influx of the tourists in Bota Pathri, employment opportunities would be created.
"The kind of traffic that is coming, in, for example about 1.4 million tourists came here last year. The surge in the tourists visiting Gulmarg resulted in it getting congested. This Bota Pathri is a good place for the tourists to visit. It is a virgin and pristine place. The infrastructure over here is environment friendly, eco sensitive and is a new destination for the tourists. Horse owners can earn their livelihood. I want that mountain biking should also start here. So it is good news for the people who are working the tourism sector," said Jora.
The tourism department organised a ceremony, where they formally announced the opening of Bota Pathri for the tourists. Army men and several tourists also participated in the ceremony.
"We had come to Srinagar, and we arrived here by chance for the opening Nagin Bota Pathri. I think it''s beautiful, it''s beyond imagination. What we had once heard in childhood that this is heaven on earth, it is a proven fact. It is beautiful. Sometimes it rains, sometimes there is the sun, and it is beyond explanation. It is from the heart, you cannot explain it," said Pawan Mirchandani, a tourist.
Bota Pathri, which is situated merely nine kilometres from Gulmarg bore the brunt of militancy.
However, with the improvement in the situation and dip in militancy in the area, tourism would revive in the state.