J&K: 5 Villages within Dal Lake to be developed as Tourist Village


J&K: 5 Villages within Dal Lake to be developed as Tourist Village

Universally acknowledged as “heaven on earth”, Kashmir’s resplendent beauty is a sight for the eyes. As we proceed towards the charming lakes, especially the Dal Lake in Srinagar, the sound of Shikara and the mesmerizing beauty lures the visitors, giving memories of a lifetime! Over the years, this lake with picturesque surroundings has attracted millions of tourists, a coveted tourist spot for Indians as well as foreigners.

To amplify the effect of tourism on the spot, the Indian government has decided to develop five villages in the Dal Lake area as tourist villages.

The five tourist villages within Dal lake in Srinagar that will witness transformation into tourist villages include Kachri Mohalla, Sofi Mohalla, Tinda Mohallah, Akhoon Mohalla and a vegetable market. These villages will have all basic facilities for inhabitants as well as tourists and local visitors. These villages will also provide homestay facilities to tourists.

Dal Lake: Crown Jewel of Kashmir

In Kashmir, of all lakes, Dal lake (urban lake), is an integral part of the tourism and recreation in Kashmir and is named as “Jewel in the crown of Kashmir” or “Srinagar’s Jewel.” It is also worth noting that the lake is an important source for commercial operations in fishing and water plant harvesting.

The initiative is destined to promote homestays across the Union Territory and will strengthen the rural economy in the region. It will also help youths in becoming entrepreneurs besides empowering women by offering them numerous opportunities for employment.

The lake covers an area of 18 square kilometres and is part of a natural wetland, which covers 21.1 square kilometres, including its floating gardens. The floating gardens, known as “Raad” in Kashmiri, blossom with lotus flowers during July and August. The wetland is divided by causeways into four basins – Gagribal, Lokut Dal, Bod Dal and Nagin.

Tourist Village Network

On 3rd September 2021, Lt. Governor of J&K Manoj Sinha launched J&K Tourist Village Network under Mission Youth for transforming 75 villages known for having distinction in terms of historical relevance, picturesque beauty, cultural significance, adventurous terrain and archaeology into tourist villages, that are gaining tremendous traction with heavy tourist influx thronging the new destinations.

The aim of this mission is to create a youth-led sustainable tourism initiative that will aid in strengthening the rural economy and community entrepreneurship. The program was launched to celebrate 75 years of India’s independence under Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav wherein Mission Youth will work towards giving a facelift to 75 villages that are already famous for their historical background, picturesque landscape and cultural importance.

Rural Tourism Project: India

To promote rural tourism in the country, the Ministry of Tourism started the rural tourism project. With this, it aims to promote domestic as well as foreign tourists and boost the socio-economic development of rural people.

Under the project, the Ministry of Tourism evaluated 107 rural tourism projects spread across all the states in India. This was done to understand the effect of rural tourism projects on the lives of the locals in the villages and to analyze if the uniqueness of the areas managed to attract tourists.

The Government of India has been taking several initiatives to boost rural tourism such as the Swadesh Darshan Scheme, the institution of national tourism award for ‘best rural/Agri/plantation tourism projects’ among several others.

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