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Valley Weekend draws local youth, tourists to adventure sports on Sun

Dir Tourism Kashmir flags off Cyclothon at Zabarwan park


Srinagar, Nov 26 (KNS): Continuing with its promotional programmes, the department of tourism Kashmir on Sunday organized Mountain Biking on Zabarwan hills and Kayaking, Canoeing and Rowing at Dal Lake as part of its ‘Valley Weekend’ events.
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 Shankracharya 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 MTB 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.
Over the past few months, new trails have been developed on Shankaracharya hills which the department is planning to use for MTB activities so that youth take part in adventure sports.
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 competed in 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 Canoe 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.
Speaking on the occasion, Director Tourism Kashmir said they have developed new trails on Shankaracharya hills which will help promote healthy living among locals as this forest trail is very close to the people living in the city.
“We are living very close to city forest and we wanted to provide an opportunity for the local youth to visit these forests and appreciate the nature besides partake in adventure sports activities. We got good response today and we will regularly organize MTB events.”
To promote MTB in Kashmir and attract bikers from around the world to Kashmir, the department also released a drone video showing the potential of this adventure sport in the Valley.
“We are identifying and developing the mountain biking trails not only in Srinagar but at other places also. We will also publish map for cycling trails soon so that bikers both locals and tourists can paddle at appropriate places,” said Director Tourism.
He said the sports activities also engage youth and also provide fun to the tourists who only visit here for sightseeing.
On Saturday, the department organsied theater show at natural locations of Mughal Garden, Shalimar, during the day time which was followed by musical evening at SKICC where local emerging bands performed to enthrall the audience including the tourists.
The theater 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.
“Tourists mostly come here for sightseeing as they know Kashmir has unmatched natural beauty. But we want to provide them entertainment also here. They should remember Kashmir as a happening place also where they can take part in activities,” said Director Tourism, Kashmir. “Such events will also send a positive message across that Kashmir is safe for tourist and there are activities which the visitors can enjoy.”
The department is also gearing up for hectic winter carnival this winter at ski resort Gulmarg and also at Pahalgam. (KNS)