Tourist traffic to Himalayas falls for natural calamities, lack of facilities

Round-up of adventure travel and tourism, and the Himalayan travel and tourism news for the week of July 29-August 4, 2013

July 31, 2013

Tourist traffic to Uttarakhand plummets

On June 16, cloudburst and heavy rainfall caused havoc in parts of Uttarakhand. ASSOCHAMM measured the impact of the natural calamity and concluded that the tourist traffic recorded a steep decline of 85%.

[Source of Information: Kaura, Girja Shankar. (2013, July 31). PM reviews rehabilitation work in flood-ravaged Uttarakhand. The Tribune. Retrieved from]

More than 10,100 pilgrims worshipped at Amarnath Cave daily

During June 28-July 30, 2013, 333,606 people reached the Amarnath Cave, final destination of the religious trek. The pilgrims take either Baltal or Chandanwari route depending on the faith and health conditions. The Baltal route is shorter than the Chandanwari pilgrimage route. The religious people prefer the longer Chandanwari route.

On August 16, holy mace starts its trek to the cave. The prayer will take place on August 21, the day of Raksha Bandhan when the yatra will conclude.

[Source of Information: Tribune News Service. (2013, July 31). 3.35 lakh offer prayers at Amarnath cave shrine. The Tribune. Retrieved from]

Gale, downpour in Chamba

Gale and heavy rain lashed Salooni Tehsil in Chamba District, Himachal Pradesh. The bridge spanning the Sur Nullah was washed away, snapping the Himgiri road link.

The Barged Nullah Bridge was also washed away. The rain initiated soil-erosion, damaging the roads.

[Source of Information: (2013, July 31). Heavy rain washes away road, bridges. The Tribune. Retrieved from]


August 2, 2013

Downpour hits life in H.P.

A cloudburst damaged a bridge, roads, and windmills and washed away scores of sheep in Chungut Village in Lahaul Spiti District, Himachal Pradesh. The roads linking to Udghot, Shalini, Tingrath, Shufto and Khanjar villages took the brunt of incessant rain.

The downpour also disrupted traffic in various other parts of Himachal Pradesh. Jogindernagar, Palampur, Baijnath and Dharamsala in Kangra District received 119-200 mm of rainfall.

[Source of Information: Chauhan, Pratibha. (2013, August 2). Bridge, road stretch washed away in Lahaul Spiti. The Tribune. Retrieved from]

Hemkunt Express derails

Near Samba, a landslide on the Jammu-Pathankot rail track derailed the Hemkunt Express. No one was, however, injured. The rail traffic came to a halt for about six hours.

[Source of Information: Khajuria, Amit. (2013, August 2). Hemkunt Express derails, passenger safe. The Tribune. Retrieved from]

H.P. film tourism policy in the offing

Government of Himachal Pradhesh plans to draft a film tourism policy to attract more film production companies and thereby promoting tourism.

[Source of Information: Tribune News Service. (2013, August 2). Film Tourism policy on the cards. The Tribune. Retrieved from]

H.P. prepares EMP, awaits approval

Himachal Pradesh prepared an environment master plan (EMP) to restore the environment and ecology. The Department of Environment identified highly vulnerable regions in the state.  The plan focuses on the following sectors:

  • Natural resource management
  • Infrastructure
  • Services
  • Tourism
  • Eco tourism
  • Art, architecture and cultural heritage

The EMP features sector-specific guidelines and action plans for creating social and environmental awareness.

[Source of Information: Sharma, Ambika. (2013, August 2). Environment master plan for state soon. The Tribune. Retrieved from]

August 3, 2013

Himachal Pradesh emerges as film shooting spot

From January to July 2013, more than twenty films shot in Himachal Pradesh (H.P.). The films include albums, serials, feature films and advertisement films. For instance, Vanity Fair, Love is not Mathematics, and Purani Jeans, Hindi feature films and Buddy (Documentary in Malyalam) have been given permission for shooting during the period. The film companies from South India shoot films in the state regularly.

The State Tourism Department, the nodal officer, is working to attract more and more companies. The state grants all permissions required for the shooting within twenty-fours.  The scenic landscape of the state has also been captured by television serials such as Khamosh and Savdhan India.

[Source of Information: (2013, August 3). Himachal becoming favorite film shooting destination. Govt. of Himachal Pradesh- Information and Public Relations. Retrieved from]

Cloudburst, downpour disrupt traffic on Srinagar-Leh Highway

Flash floods due to heavy rains and cloudburst damaged roads and houses in Kargil District, Jammu and Kashmir. Tons of mud blocked the roads at various places, including Titikchumik and Hunderman. The natural calamity affected the Srinagar-Leh Highway.

Cloudburst also disrupted the daily life in Pulwama District. In Adi Trag Village, the Romshi Nallah washed away a few locals.

[Source of Information: Fazili, Ehsan. (2013, August 3). Flash floods hit Kargil; cloudburst in HP. The Tribune. Retrieved from]

A 5.4 earthquake with its epicenter located near Kishtwar hit Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir on August 2, 2013.

[Source of Information: Fazili, Ehsan. (2013, August 3). Flash floods hit Kargil; cloudburst in HP. The Tribune. Retrieved from]

August 4, 2013

Spectacle of Minjar (Maize Flower) Fair ends

The 7-day International Minjar Fair concluded in Chamba, Himachal Pradesh. The ceremonial procession began from the Akhand Chandi Palace and ended at the Ravi River’s bank, where Minjar, the maize flower, was immersed.  On the concluding day, the Indian wrestling competition was organized in Chaugan Maidan and the winners were honored with Minjar Kesari, Minjar Kumar and Shri Minjar awards

[Source of Information: (2013, August 4). Week Long International Minjar Fair Concludes. Govt. of Himachal Pradesh- Information and Public Relations. Retrieved from]

Profile of European tourists visiting Nepal

Although the Europeans account for 24% of the total tourist arrivals in Nepal, the number of the European tourists registered a decline of more than 15% during January-July 2013 as compared to the corresponding period in the last year. The decline is ascribed to the following reasons:

  • Absence of direct air links between Nepal and Europe
  • Lack of quality tourism products

Average spending of the European tourist amounts to Euro 200 per day, but the tourist spends just one hundred euro per day in Nepal because the country does not offer good quality products. They prefer Lumbini, Chitwan, Pokhara, and Kathmandu, trekking, and mountain flights.

[Source of Information: (2013, August 4). Tourist arrivals from Europe down by 15.6 per cent. The Himalayan Times. Retrieved from]

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