3-day Gulmarg fusion festival comes as icing on cake for Kashmir
Kashmir's heaven of snow and slopes, Gulmarg, is decking up for a rare fusion festival, which has come as icing on the cake after more than16-feet snowfall and a record number of tourists this winter.
The unique festival will see a mix of food, music and adventure from across the country this weekend, to conclude this year's winter season.
"It's is an attempt to encourage growing peace and progress among all by providing one common platform to local artists, craftsmen and folklore artists," said Maan Jalta, spokesman of the organising group, which is organising first ever fusion winter festival.
The three-day festival will start from March 10 at Gulmarg, located at 2,690 m (8,825 ft) above sea level and is 52 km north of Srinagar. Gulmarg is famous for Alpine slopes offering runs of 2 km. Gulmarg offers baby slopes equipped with ski lifts for beginners.
"The festival will be a blend of the beauty of Gulmarg with best musical bands, photographers, artists, film-makers and tourists all over the world," said Jalta adding,"we will encourage all to keep Gulmarg clean and green".
The "Gulmarg Winter Festival 2012" will be first winter festival of music and adventure.
From adventure sports of snowboarding, skiing, zorbing, the festival will offer Kashmiri food and local music to visitors camping amidst eight feet snowfall covering the tourist spot like a blanket.
"The festival will be a doorway to the ever lively and sparkling Kashmiri culture. Local folk lore, art, handicraft, and delicious mouth-watering Kashmiri cuisine of wazwan, Kashmiri chai's (tea) will be high on cards," said Jalta.
The musical potpourri will showcase classical, folk, sufi, jazz, jams, collaborations, blues, rock, Indie bands and Fusion.
"Besides local artists, famous Raghu Dixit, Rishi Inc., local bands will jam in together," said Jalta.
Gulmarg registered highest number of tourists, both domestic and foreign, this year after two decades.
"Festivals are a good sign and encouraging step. We already had a good season of tourists who came for adventure sports. More than 700 took part in heli-skiing. A record number of winter tourists arrived this year after a long time," said director tourism Farooq Ahmad Shah who declined to disclose the exact figures of tourists.