SRINAGAR: Continuing with its promotional programmes under the Valley Weekend events, the department of tourism Kashmir on Sunday organized Mountain Biking on Zabarwan hills and Kayaking, Canoeing and Rowing at Dal Lake, an official spokesman said.
Director tourism, Kashmir Mahmood A Shah flagged off the Cyclothon at Zabarwan Park at 9 am in which over 50 cyclists participated. The bikers paddled on Shankr Acharya hills where new trails have been recently developed for this sport. The trails are also used for mountaineering and hiking programs for the school going students.
The event attracted lot of attention of the passers-by who appreciated the programs of the department of tourism for engaging local youth in adventure sports.
Earlier, the Director Tourism also inaugurated the water sports activities at Nehru Park at 11 am where around 200 players from 12 local clubs participated. The participants completed 500 meter and 200 meter races in kayaking, canoeing, dragon boat rowing and canoe polo, which saw equal participation from men and women.
The department organized today’s events in collaboration with JK Mountain Biking Association and JK Water Sports Kayaking and Cano Association.
Tourists staying in houseboats and those taking the shikara ride also enjoyed the show inside Dal Lake which was decorated with balloons and festoons to demarcate the course.
On the occasion the Director Tourism said that the department is identifying and developing the mountain biking trails not only in Srinagar but at other places also. He said the department will also publish map for cycling trails soon so that bikers both locals and tourists can paddle at appropriate places. He said the sports activities should engage youth and also provide fun to the tourists who visit Kashmir for sightseeing.
On Saturday, the department organised theatre show at natural locations of Mughal Garnden, Shalimar, during the day time which was followed by musical evening at SKICC where local emerging bands performed to enthral the audience including the tourists.
The theatre show at Shalimar Garden attracted good gathering of locals, tourists, members from travel trade and hospitality sector besides the officials from department of tourism, J&K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages.
The Director Tourism said that the tourists mostly come here for sightseeing as they know Kashmir has unmatched natural beauty, but the department is providing them entertainment also to boost the tourism sector. He said such events will also send a positive message across the world that Kashmir is safe for tourist and there are activities which the visitors can enjoy.”
The Director said that the department is gearing up for hectic winter carnival this winter at ski resort Gulmarg and Pahalgam.
(Pictures used in this post lack a direct relevance to the event)