GUREZ, AUGUST 07(KMW): The 3-day long Gurez Festival organized by the Department of Tourism concluded here on Monday.
The festival which started on August 5 saw an overwhelming response from the locals and the adventure enthusiasts.
The festival saw various events including cultural programs by locals, adventure events like mountain biking in Dawar and Tulail Valley, white water rafting, mountaineering and camping.
During the festival, various departments including horticulture, sericulture, apiculture, floriculture had erected their stalls to promote their products.
Locals from Gurez besides travel agents, students and adventure enthusiasts from other parts of the Valley participated in the festival.
Scores of the bikers paddled through mountains in Dawar terrains and also reached Tulail Valley to explore the potential of the Gurez for adventure sports.
Director Tourism Kashmir, Mahmood A Shah said Gurez Festival is a part of the Government’s effort to promote off-beat destinations and bring them on tourism map.
He said Gurez, besides having beautiful landscape and culture, has immense potential for adventure activities like trekking, white water rafting, and mountain biking and camping.
Director Tourism said the festival in Gurez was started in the year 2007 to bring it on the tourism map.
He said department would also organize Bangus, Saffron, Kargil festivals in the coming days to send the message across that tourism activities are going on in Kashmir and that tourists can visit and enjoy their stay here.
During the festival a team of trekkers also hiked to Patalwan meadow and Patalwan lake which was completed in 15 hours. It is for the first time that a group of trekkers from various parts of the Valley conducted the trek.
Minister of State for Tourism, Priya Sethi had earlier inaugurated the Festival. She was accompanied by Deputy Speaker JK Legislative Assembly Nazir Gurezi, Director Tourism Kashmir Mahmood A Shah and Deputy Commissioner Bandipora Sajad Hussain.
On the second day, Minister of State for Hajj & Auqaf, Syed Farooq Andrabi and Advisor to Government Pradeep Singh also visited Gurez and participated in the festival. Both of them visited stalls and interacted with the locals and the participants of the festival.