Bandipora, Feb 18: The sky-scrapping bevels of picturesque Gulmarg for decades have been appealing to skiers across the globe. Every winter, as snowflakes cap these slopes, ski lovers from different corners of the world throng these uphills with an intense desire and avarice fervour to pull the ski boots over the white carpet which engulfs these mountains.
Earlier in the past, the sport which was highly men dominated, where a less count of women was mounting these uphills is now awarding a spare tally of women with its push. Inclined by the blankets of untrodden snow over the rocky mounts, 29-year-old chartered accountant, Mumbai woman Ritika Garg was deeply smitten by these slippery eminences on her very first hop to these glittering snowy flakes, prompting her to quit her corporate job and learn skiing in the ski resort Gulmarg.
Ritika Garg, a resident of Mumbai Maharashtra now not only skis for herself but also trains women travellers from all over the world and encourages them to explore the Kashmir valley, which she considers to be one of the safest places for women.
"Wenting against the direction of my friends and my family with fear in my heart due to the negative portrayal of the Kashmir valley in the media reports, I opted for my week-long trip to Kashmir in 2021 which ended up staying here for six months straight. The main feature of Kashmir lies not in its green lush valleys or snow-folded caps but in the stirring hospitality of the people. I had travelled to many countries across the world, but I found Kashmir as the safest place for women in the world and I wish more solo women travellers would visit Kashmir", Ritika Garg, Professional Skier, and CEO High-on-Trips told Rising Kashmir.
Training dozens of women in the last two years in Gulmarg, Ritika started her small travel company with the name of High-on-Trips, which caters to women travellers only.
Ritika said she is also participating in the 3rd edition of the Khelo India Winter Games held at Gulmarg.
"Inspired by my story, a good total of young girls from different corners of the country who are enthusiastic about travelling solo, mainly in the 18-35 age groups visit me to train them in skiing, not only for this season but I am booked for the next season as well", she said .
In these two years, Ritika said she has visited many such unexplored destinations which even a dweller was unaware of. "I wish good times for every trekker, traveller, or tourist who will come to derive pleasure from the meadows of the Kashmir Valley",she said.
She pleaded with nemophilists across the globe to shun the rumours and visit the valley as she did.
"With the anxiety of nature in my heart, I as a woman have solely visited many places which were yet to map out. I request everyone not to pay heed to the rumours of uncertainty in the valley and visit here without any fear. If I as a woman can stay for two years solely here why can't you? ", Ritika concluded.