Two books on Craft and Architectural traditions of Kashmir, prepared and published by INTACH J&K Chapter, were released today by the Minister for Tourism Ghulam Ahmad Mir. He also released a booklet on Kashmir festival 2013.
The Tourism Minister later launched a website on rural tourism of the State www.kashmirtouristvillages.com
As per a statement, the minister while speaking on the occasion has said that willow craft of Kashmir has its roots in day to day life. He said, “Guided by the local requirements, the rural crafts persons moderated the natural raw materials in forms and shapes suited to the local demand. This monograph is aimed at meeting this requirement and documents the history of the crafts, the raw materials, the skills and the products.” He has a hope that it will be open up new vistas for this age old industry thereby sustained the craft traditions and securing livelihood of a vast number of artisans.
Tourism Minister has said that Architectural monuments of Kashmir owe their origin to its rich socio-religious traditions, beliefs and natural settings. He said these monuments essentially and interpretation of three elements. He said, “The present monogram is essentially a documentation of what exists on ground as also visualizing to the best, the present day understanding of how these would have been created. He hoped it serves the purposes succinctly.”
For the Kashmir Tourism Festival, the minister in a press conference said that the government in collaboration with Tour and travel stockholders would provide various sops to the tourists visiting Kashmir Valley during fortnight Kashmir Tourism Festival commencing from Tuesday.
Tourism Minister while giving detailed resume of the activities being carried out during 15 days Kashmir festival for attracting tourists besides promoting rich cultural heritage of the Valley said, “Air India would provide 20% air fare concession to those tourists who visit Valley during festive days. The hoteliers of the Valley have also announced 20% concession on lodging and boarding of the tourists during this fortnight.”
The Minister said that during the festival days a FAM trip of tour and travel operators besides media persons would also be arranged to visit different tourist places particularly lesser known destinations to showcase their potential in and outside the country.
Mir said that that the festival being organized by Tourism Department would be inaugurated on Tuesday at Kashmir Haat where varied attractions have been kept available for the tourists besides the stalls of art and craft depicting the rich cultural ethos of Kashmir in collaboration with other departments.
To entertain the tourists with recreational facilities, a special Qwali programme would be held on May 15 at SKICC, the Minister added. He said that illumination of Jhelum river cruise besides river ghats and Peerzoo island besides Shikara track from Peerzoo Island to Chattabal Veer would be undertaken during the festival. He said during the festival days a Shikara race in Dal Lake, Photography exhibition at SKICC, trekking expedition, Para-gliding at Dara and food show at Zawarban Park, besides roller skating, cycle race, golfing, painting competition and water sports activities are the special events to be carried out on May 16.
A horse race, trekking expedition, painting competition, all-terrain vehicle demo, river rafting would be organized at tourist spots like Yusmarg, Doodpathri, Pahalgam, Martandsun Temple, Mutton, Veerinag, Kokernag, Duksum, Aharbal, Mansbal, Sonamarg and Gulmarg.
The Minister said that festival would also showcase culture of Jammu & Kashmir through performances by the cultural troupes of the State.
The Minister said that State Tourism industry is on the path of fast revival as peace and harmony is getting restored. He said that the State tourism sector has seen great setback in the past few years. But now the situation has seen great improvement since tourists from across India and also international locations are coming to the state.
The Minister also stated that the tourism sector is growing and is also emerging as the most favoured tourist destination of global and domestic visitors. He also said that there is requirement to develop this industry in regard to the European pattern.
He said to give further fillip to the tourism sector, guest houses, hotels, restaurants and related infrastructure with advanced facilities needs to be upgraded, adding that government is formulated a comprehensive plan for upgradation of tourist related infrastructure at potential spots to meet out the future requirements of the tourists in the State.
Director Tourism, Talat Parvaz gave details of organizing the festival adding that the aim of the festival is to highlight the abundant tourism potential of Kashmir. He said during the festival days varied activities would be carried out for wooing tourists besides highlighting the rich cultural heritage of the valley.