Jammu and Kashmir: Winter Carnival-2023 brings a lively winter to Bandipora
Jammu and Kashmir: Winter Carnival-2023 brings a lively winter to Bandipora || Picture Courtesy: Google Images

Jammu and Kashmir, India: The District Administration’s annual winter carnival has kept Bandipora’s winters lively. Youth could be spotted participating in winter celebrations in some of the district’s less-visited resorts as the carnival warmed the mood.

On Wednesday, despite significant snowfall in the region, the Authwatto tourist resort experienced an extraordinary surge of visitors eager to say goodbye to winter and take in the resort’s natural splendour.

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Athwatto, a gorgeous valley in Bandipora, was the site of a historic event on Wednesday that the District Administration of Bandipora and Ali Sports Academy jointly organised to examine the region’s potential for winter tourism and winter sports.

Soulful Gojri tribal music performed by local artists welcomed the caravan of hundreds of eager and adventure-loving young people led by Deputy Commissioner (DC) Bandipora, Dr Owais Ahmad.

The District Government arranged a first-of-its-kind Snow celebration at Authwatto village as a part of the ongoing Winter Carnival Bandipora. The festival received a resoundingly positive response from both locals and adventure seekers from neighbouring areas.

The district administration was praised for holding the first-ever winter celebration at Authwatto by the delighted locals.

Ali Mohammad Khan, a local, said, “People from nearby villages normally start arriving at this place from May when the snow melts, but this year it is unique to observe an enormous influx of people in hamlet despite huge snow buildup.”

The festival featured a variety of activities, such as vibrant local Gojri traditional performances, snow sports like Sheen Jung (Snow combat), Snow Kabaddi, and Snow Rugby, as well as hiking, camping, and photography of the magnificent natural beauty blanketed in a white blanket of snow. Many individuals gathered at the stalls set up by several departments.

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Another elderly person, Gh Mohiudin Khatana, remarked, “Today we felt warmth despite sub-zero temperatures; the positive energy in youngsters prompted us to come out of our homes while we typically stay indoors in freezing temperatures.”

Another of the day’s primary highlights was a demonstration of special local food.

The tribal population in the area had already performed old songs and dressed traditionally to greet the DC Bandipora.

Among the various prominent persons attending the grand event include Vice chairperson DDC Kousar Shafiq, ADC Bandipora Waseem Raja, ADDC Bandipora Ali Afsar Khan, JDP Bandipora Imtiyaz Ali, SSP Bandipora Lakshay Sharma, Nodal officer coordination M A Hakak, ASP bandipora Aashiq Hussain Tak, CEO Bandipora, Exen’s, PRIs, DFO Bandipora, Padma Shri Faisal Ali Dar and other officials and staff of another concerned department besides large gathering of people of adjacent areas.

A team from the tourism industry, including social media influencers, attended the event and told the administration and people that they would ensure the area’s promotion and would attract a significant number of tourists to Authwatto in the upcoming months.

The DC thanked the festival organisers for their efforts. He claimed that these celebrations transformed the ordinarily dull and chilly days into warm, exciting days. In addition to helping to investigate the tourist potential of small settlements, he claimed that these events also encourage young people to focus their energies on worthwhile projects rather than idle pastimes. He exhorted the kids to avoid drugs and spend their free time on productive pursuits rather than associating with undesirable people.

He thanked the locals and PRIs for working tirelessly to make this event grand and successful during his speech.

Also, he heard complaints from locals and PRIs and gave them his word that all issues, such as network connectivity and roads, would be resolved this year.

He stated that plans are being made for this year and exhorted everyone to participate. Additionally, he urged people to observe the Swach plan and maintain their surroundings and popular tourist destinations like this clean.

It was made known that a number of large festivities will be held in the upcoming days at unusual locations like Aragam and other areas.