February 2018 News
Plan To Turn Kargil Into Tourist Haven4 February 2018
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Jammu: The J&K Government has formulated a comprehensive plan to develop Kargil as a tourist destination. Apart from developing the area as an adventure activity centre, the government is making efforts to promote Kargil as a favourite destination for Buddhist and Hindu pilgrims from across the globe. Once a spot of conflict with Pakistan, Kargil is now going to script a new history by becoming a tourist centre. In the year 2017, nearly 2.75 lakh tourists, including foreigners, visited Ladakh and the aim of the government is to lure more visitors to the peaceful mountainous region. Kargil came into the prominence during a brief but a high-casualty war between India and Pakistan in the summer of 1999. Around 527 Indians soldiers had attained martyrdom and 1,363 others were injured in the 'Operation Vijay' that was fought in one of the most difficult and inhospitable terrains in the world. 'Pilgrim sites, namely Drupti Kund, Matayam Bhim Stone, Buddha Statue at Aapati (Sod), Karchker, Mulbekh and Panikar, Karpokar and Buddhist monasteries at Kargil and Zanskar will be promoted across the world to attract visitors,' Minister for Tourism Tassadiq Mufti said. The government has already set up separate tourism development authorities for Kargil and Zanskar. The Tourism Department has prepared trekking maps and information booklets which are circulated at various tourism events to lure tourists. The minister said the Tourism Department had conducted a climbing event titled 'Climbathon' in the vicinity of the Nun Kun peak at the height of 23,800 feet in 2016. 'The survey of Chuling La, Suru La and Bobugla has been carried out by the department to access feasibility of starting adventure activities,' the minister said. The war memorial at Drass is another attraction for tourists from across the country. The memorial has been built in the memory of the fallen heroes of the 1999 Kargil war.