By Biz Reporter
Srinagar, Sep 26: The enchanting Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir recently played host to a two-day festival in the breathtaking Warwan Valley that left more than 10,000 visitors utterly spellbound. This celebration of nature and culture drew tourists from far and wide and marked a significant step in harnessing the valley’s untapped potential as a thriving tourism hub. Tourism Secretary Syed Abid Rasheed expressed his unwavering commitment to developing this hidden gem into a must-visit destination for travelers.
A Natural Paradise
Warwan Valley, with an average elevation exceeding 8,500 feet above sea level, is a true treasure trove of natural beauty. Stretching over 30 kilometers, the valley boasts a mesmerizing landscape characterized by splendid waterfalls, vast verdant meadows, colossal cedar trees, dense forests, and other scenic wonders. As visitors venture into this valley, they are greeted by an abundance of natural splendor that captivates the senses.
The region also serves as a base for numerous trekking routes, each leading to various destinations. Trekkers can embark on journeys such as the Sukhnai-Kanital-Panikhar trek, the Sheshnag trek in the Pahalgam area, or the Sukhnai-Chittergul-Aishmuqam trek, each offering breathtaking vistas, pristine lakes, lush meadows, and dense forests. The Marwah Valley trek, culminating at Sinthan Top, is another option that showcases the valley’s diversity.
Commitment to Development
During the festival, Secretary of Tourism Syed Abid Rasheed made significant commitments aimed at enhancing the region’s tourism potential. He pledged to establish 100 homestays, not only providing travelers with unique experiences but also offering local youth valuable skill development training. Furthermore, he identified three trekking routes designed to attract international trekkers, putting Warwan firmly on the global tourism map.
A Festival To Remember
The two-day festival was a collaborative effort between the Directorate of Tourism, Jammu, the Kishtwar district administration, and the J&K Academy of Art, Culture, and Languages. It offered an array of activities to engage visitors of all interests, from serene yoga sessions to heart-pounding marathon races and everything in between.
Adventure enthusiasts were treated to trekking through stunning landscapes, spirited bike rallies, and angling expeditions. Nature lovers indulged in leisurely nature walks and stargazing sessions. Sports enthusiasts had their share of fun with activities like volleyball, kho kho, and tug-of-war. For the thrill-seekers, the festival introduced exhilarating river rafting adventures for the first time. Live musical performances by exceptionally talented artists and local luminaries added to the entertainment quotient. The festival truly had something for everyone.
Exploring The Treasures Of Warwan
Explorers along the trekking paths in Warwan Valley will encounter historic temples and shrines reflecting the region’s rich cultural legacy. The renowned Machail Mata temple, dedicated to the Hindu goddess Durga, stands proudly atop a mountainside and is accessible via a challenging 30-kilometer hike from the nearby village of Gulabgarh. Beyond its natural and cultural splendors, Warwan Valley is celebrated for its warm and welcoming residents.
Best Time To Visit
The ideal time to experience the beauty of Warwan Valley is between July and September when the weather is pleasant and perfect for outdoor exploration.
How To Reach Warwan Valley
The nearest town to Warwan is Kishtwar, approximately 42 kilometers away. The nearest airport is in Jammu, 264 kilometers away, while the nearest railhead is in Udhampur, 265 kilometers away.
For those seeking the Warwan Valley trek, the journey begins from the hamlet of Inshan, 150 kilometers away from Srinagar. The trek follows the meandering path alongside the Warren River, passing through lush stands of fir, pine, and deodar trees. Completing the walk to Warwan Valley typically takes 7-8 days and is considered moderately challenging. The valley is approximately 120 kilometers from Pahalgam, 40 kilometers from Kishtwar, and 110 kilometers from Anantnag.