Official says winter carnival soon; ‘Record 3.10 lakh tourists visited last year’

Aharbal, renowned for its captivating waterfall and often referred to as the “Niagara Falls of Kashmir”, has emerged as a tourist hotspot following recent snowfall in the valley.

Srinagar based news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) quoted officials as saying that Aharbal, approximately 27 km from Kulgam town in south Kashmir, is attracting both local and out-of-town tourists after fresh snowfall. He said the tourist destination achieved an impressive record of 310,000 visitors last year, marking a notable threefold increase compared to previous years.

“The Kulgam district administration is gearing up for a mega winter carnival in the upcoming days. The festival will showcase various activities to attract more tourists to Aharbal,” the official added.

Yogesh Sharna, a tourist from Mumbai expressed awe at the majestic natural wonder of Aharbal. He said, “We feel great. We saw snow in Srinagar before, but seeing it on trees and mountains is amazing. We are taking good memories with us and invite everyone to come here.”

Beenish Qurashi from Delhi said, “Aharbal is truly a heaven. This is something you can’t experience from photos or videos; you must visit here. I want to sit here for the whole day, and I don’t want to leave the place as the location is awe-inspiring,” she said.

Payal Kumari, another visitor, described the place as feeling “truly and literally like heaven”. She praised both the beauty of the location and the warmth of the local people.“Kashmir is much better than we imagined. It feels truly and literally like heaven and the people here are amazing and very cooperative,” she said.

News Agency KNO quoted Chief Executive Officer of Aharbal Development Authority (ADA), Ghalib Mohiuddin Shah as saying that tourist activity has increased at Aharbal after the recent snowfall.

“The snow-capped Aharbal has witnessed a rush of tourists. This surge in visitors is expected to boost the income of the local business sector,” he said.

The CEO said that all routes leading to the tourist destination are clear of snowfall, and every tourist must come here to experience the breathtaking beauty of the winter wonderland. Shah added that ample accommodation and facilities are available for the local visitors and tourists.