Budgam, Aug 17: One of Kashmir’s most famous meadows, Tosamaidan, which literary means the “King of Meadows”, nestled in the PirPanjal range in Central Kashmir’s Budgam district has clocked over 10,000 tourist footfalls this year so far.
Efforts from the Jammu and Kashmir administration to promote Tosamaidan as a tourist destination have yielded good results as this meadow has of late witnessed a sharp increase in trekking and camping activities.
As per official data, during the year 2019-2020, 2,637 tourists visited the picturesque Tosamaidan; 4,800 tourists visited the meadow during 2020–2021; 7,683 tourists visited this scenic spot between2021–22; and this year so far the place has witnessed 10,921 tourist footfalls.
Since the last few years, Tosamaidan has become a popular destination for visitors to spend day picnics and indulge in trekking activities as well. "This tourist destination has various trekking trails, and we have seen an increase in the number of adventure seekers from different parts of the Valley visiting Tosamaidan, especially during summers," said NargisSuraya, in-charge Chief Executive Officer of the Tosamaidan Development Authority.
Suraya said that the UT administration has already started various kinds of development works at the tourist reception centre at Tosamaidan, where all necessary facilities will be made available for visitors.
One of the traditional routes that connects Kashmir Valley to the PirPanjal region, Tosadmaidan is dotted with various types of wildflowers which add more beauty to its pastures. From being an artillery firing range for several decades to now an upcoming tourist destination, Tosamaidan is also attracting adventure seekers from different parts of the world.
In 2017, an independent development authority for Tosamaidan was set up with an aim to bring it on Kashmir’s tourism map.
Ghulam Ahmad Paswal, a resident of Ringzabal in Budgam said it is quite encouraging that Tosamaidan has been attracting hundreds of local trekkers and tourists. " The lush green meadows of Tosamaidan offer a huge potential to attract more tourists. The natural beauty of this place is bewildering," said Paswal.
He said various trekking routes such as Tosamaidan to Gadasar, Tosamaidan to Chanz via Chanmarg, and the Tosamaidanto Damansar routes are some of the popular trekking trails. Todamaidan is surrounded by various meadows like Watadar, Hafwas, Kadlibal, Nagnibal, and Duriyaan, which add more beauty to this tourist destination.
" Springs and ponds like Bandar, Gadtar, Damansar, Sundooqsar, and Chanaaz, are the main source for the nallahSukhnag which has also become the main source for drinking water and irrigation facilities for the agricultural lands in the Budgam district," Paswal said.