The Chief Secretary, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta today chaired a meeting to review preparations for the ensuing Tourism Festival in J&K to be organized over a period of three months under the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.Administrative Secretary of Tourism Department, General Administration Department, Director Information & Public Relations Department, MD, JKTDC, and concerned officers participated in the meeting.It was informed that the Tourism Festival will be kick-started by a ‘Rooh-e-Sufi’ festival in October 2021, which will comprise performances on Hafiz Nagma, Kalam-e-Khusroo, Kalam-e-Baba Fareed, Qawwali, Baul Sufi folk, Darrvish Sufi dance, and Haziri Kathak, besides literary seminar on Sufism and exhibition of local arts, calligraphy, and Sufi traditions.
The three month festival will also include celebrations in the form of Autumn and Houseboat festivals in October; World Heritage Week and Saffron Festival in November; Christmas and New Year festivals in December; and will extend to Winter Carnival in January 2022.Similarly, in Jammu province Jammu Festival, Navratra Festival, White Water Rafting Championship, Lake Festival, Patnitop Winter Carnival, and Lohri Festival will be organized during the same period.The Tourism Department further informed that several destination based festivals will also be held like Sonamarg Autumn Festival, Pahalgam Winter Festival, Khadinyar Cultural Festival, Gulmarg Snow Festival, Basholi Art Festival, Mata Vaishnodevi Sangeet Samelan, Kishtwar Saffron Plucking Festival, and Suchetgarh Seema Darshan.To promote rural tourism, it was informed that several activities will be organized along the identified rural circuits across Jammu and Kashmir, including Hokersar-Parihaspora-Gohan in Gulmarg, Waderbala, Nowgam Mawar- Lolab in Kupwara, Chari-Sharief-Doodhpathri-Yousmarg in Budgam, Saderkoot Payeen- Watlab in Bandipora, Bani- Sarthal- Bhaderwah in Doda, Tattapani-Chingus in Rajouri and Sudhmahadev-Mantalai-Dudu-Basantgarh in Udhampur.
The Chief Secretary asked the Culture Department to undertake large scale advertisement of the events beforehand and ensure maximum participation from the culture & travel enthusiasts.Dr. Mehta directed the Department to preserve, restore, and promote cultural and architectural heritage of Jammu and Kashmir by proper site identification, cultural mapping and event cataloging of the heritage places in both provinces of the Union territory. He further advised the Department to raise awareness about these places by organizing dedicated travel, trekking-expeditions and stays around the identified sites.
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