Breathtaking Bangus Beckons: Chase the Chill

Breathtaking Bangus Beckons: Chase the Chill

See The Snow Amidst Snowless Kashmir

Suhail Khan

SRINAGAR, Jan 22: Amidst the snowless season in Kashmir, the lesser-known tourist destination of Bangus in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district is offering a wonderful option to enjoy the snow. While the famous tourist spots like Pahalgam, Sonmarg, and Gulmarg are currently snowless, Bangus is covered in a beautiful blanket of snow.

Bangus, located around 48 kilometers from Kupwara town, consists of two parts-Bodh Bangus (Big Bangus) and Lakut Bangus (Small Bangus). Despite being less explored, the beauty of Bangus can rival that of the well-known destinations in Kashmir.

To combat the negative impact on the tourism industry caused by the lack of snow in places like Gulmarg and Pahalgam, Farooq, a trekker, while talking to Kashmir Despatch, suggested organizing winter events in Bangus Valley.

He said the region receives a significant amount of snowfall, making it an ideal location for such events. Farooq opined that presently, the snow depth in Bangus Valley ranges from 2 to 4 feet. The slower melting of snow in this area can be attributed to minimal human activities, unlike the bustling Gulmarg, he added.

A local resident Peerzada Zubair told Kashmir Despatch, “We are really grateful towards the government for organizing summer festivals in Bangus Valley, however, it needs more attention and effort from the government, as this valley has the potential to surpass other winter tourism destinations in Kashmir.”

“The snow-capped mountains and frozen streams in Bangus are breathtaking and could provide tough competition to well-known destinations like Gulmarg and Pahalgam,” Zubair added.

Mountaineer and traveler Muneeb ul Haq said that Bangus Valley is a hidden gem that can transform the situation in north Kashmir and contribute to economic growth. He said that the valley has immense potential to become an ideal tourist destination not just in summers, but also during winters, where winter festivals can be organized.

He further said that this would not only provide a boost to the tourism industry but also create employment opportunities for the youth.

A senior official at DC office Kupwara told Kashmir Despatch that developments are in store for the Bangus Valley. He said one of the future plans is to create a children’s park where young ones can revel in joyous playtime amidst the breathtaking natural beauty. This addition will not only enhance the recreational opportunities but also provide a safe and vibrant space for families visiting the valley.

He said an open stadium is on the agenda, offering a remarkable venue for sports events, cultural activities, and community gatherings. The official said that this facility will not only attract sports enthusiasts but also provide a platform for local talent to showcase their skills and foster a sense of unity and camaraderie.

The officer further added that numerous other developments are slated for Bangus Valley which aim to elevate the overall visitor experience, ensuring that every individual is captivated by the charm and allure the valley has to offer. Whether it’s the enhancement of existing facilities or the introduction of new amenities, the future plans hold a promise of making the valley an even more enchanting destination for tourists from near and far.

Meanwhile, The Meteorological Department on Monday predicted light snow at isolated higher reaches of Kashmir from January 25 and may continue for the subsequent two days.

Director Meteorological Department Dr. Mukhtar Ahmad told Kashmir Despatch that dry weather is expected to persist until Wednesday; however, there is a forecast of generally cloudy weather with light snow at isolated higher regions on January 24, 25.

“Subsequently, from January 27-28, the prediction is for generally cloudy weather with light rain/snow occurring at scattered places. There is a possibility of light to moderate rain/snow at many places very likely (details awaited) from January 29-31,” he said.

Dr. Mukhtar further said that moderate to dense fog and a fall in day temperature over the plains of Jammu division were likely expected during the next two days.

Independent Weather Forecaster Aabid Maqbool said there is an indication of heavy snowfall in Jammu and Kashmir in the last week of January, there are 65% chances. “Snowfall is expected in Sonamarg, Gulmarg and Pahalgam during the last week of January,” Maqbool said.

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