Jammu and Kashmir (JK) that is striving to become an all season destination hosted the following events to lure more tourists during this winter season and reviewed the pilgrimage facilities:
Gulmarg hosted the National Ski and Snowboarding Championship in February, 2014. During the inaugural speech, the Chief Minister expressed his desire to promote winter sports, including skiing on Mary Shoulder and Kongdoori slopes and provide facilities of international standards.
In February, Gulmarg also witnessed Snow Fiesta 2014, a two-day-long snow sculpture festival to attract more tourists during winter. The festival, the first event of its kind in South Asia, showcased snow sculptures by local sculptors. For example, the artists carved a two-seat car, an igloo, a Kashmiri samovar (a metal container), and a frog out of snow. The artists braved the bone-chilling weather conditions for a month to shape up the sculptures. The exhibition also included snow photography and paintings. The festival was organized by the Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Office, E-Planner, and Callisto Art and Culture.
A snow festival was organized in Pahalgam in February, 2014. The festival presented a snow fight (sheen jang), dance by a group of young boys (bachhkot), snow rugby match, and ski lantern show. Cycling through snow between Laripora and Pahalgam and a skiing rally were also organized on the occasion. The 2-day festival was hosted by the Himalayan Welfare Organization (HWO) and Loudbeetle.
In February, various tourism stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir, including Shri Amaranth Shrine Board (SASB) reviewed arrangements and planning for upcoming pilgrimage season. This season the Nilgrant helipad would be used instead of the helipad at Baltal for easy traffic management. The en route facilities have been upgraded.
Glamping in Ladakh
Ladakh has very limited number of up-scale accommodations but it is popular among adventure seekers. Many of these thrill seekers crave for luxury accommodations in remote areas. To bridge the gap, The Ultimate Travelling Camp offers a glamping experience at The Chamba Camp in Thiksey. The 28-acre camp site overlooking Thiksey Monastery covers a part of the verdant Indus Valley. The camp would open on June 15, 2014. However, glamping costs a lot of money.