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Ceasefire brings hope, puts Gurez on tourism map

‘Polo revived after six decades, witnesses record breaking tourist influx’

Post by Shafat Malik on Tuesday, December 27, 2022

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Bandipora, Dec 26: The ceasefire in Gurez Valley of north Kashmir's Bandipora district has been maintained effectively, allowing individuals to continue their lifestyles in serenity and honour, and to pursue their trades and other undertakings with no anxiety of being hit at any moment in this year.
The occurrences of ceasefire violations in the Gurez valley frequently lead to fatalities, ruin of assets, loss of livestock and limitations on movement, limited or no access to educational facilities, medical care, interruption of agribusiness and other business undertakings.
Ever since the start of this year, visitors from all over the country have been flocking to the Gurez, providing a first-hand experience with the local population.
The picturesque Gurez valley has also been granted the Best Offbeat Destination Award 2022 in India. It was bequeathed the gold accolade for the most secluded tourist destination in India at a ceremony held by "Outlook Traveler Magazine" in Delhi.
The Tourism Department organized an opulent festival at the out-of-the way tourist spot during the year where the primary attraction of the all-day celebration was a Horse Polo match that was played between two squads of local young people, the elders in the area said it was after approximately six decades that they had seen a Polo match being played in Gurez again.
Gaining recognition in the tourism sector, the Gurez valley earned the attention of Bollywood filmmakers this year as it was featured in the movie "Chahiye Thoda Pyaar" for the first time ever. 
The farmers living near the Line of Control in Gurez stated they have been capable of managing their land, which includes plots beyond the barbed wire fences. 
Mohammad Ashraf, a local, told Rising Kashmir that since the start of the year, normality and peace have allowed for the beginning of a period of growth in all the regions adjacent to the Line of Control.
 Other inhabitants claimed that due to the tranquillity on the borders, the administration and tourism department have been able to endorse border tourism, which has made a considerable difference.
Approximately thirty weddings have occurred in the Gurez valley amidst serenity and placidity with inhabitants visible exulting nuptials in a composed manner this year.
Yearning that this serene climate should perpetually stay in the borderlands similar to this year, the residents of Gurez expressed that they are ecstatic to witness such jubilations after an extended period.
"Before this, we would stay inside for numerous days as a result of vehement shelling from beyond the border but at present here locals are participating in ceremonies and other activities on a big scale without any apprehension," they said.
Concurrently, with no trepidation, the border residents in Gurez were occupied with their habitual errands while children too were playing in the playfields, replacing the thunder of the weaponry that brought about death and distress to the inhabitants for countless years.
Yet, the population has pleaded for some fundamental amenities from the government, especially the tunnel so that Gurez gets connected with the rest of the world during winters. 

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