J-K: Two-day winter carnival begins in Pahalgam

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Srinagar, Feb 20 (PTI) A two-day winter carnival to revive the tourism sector, hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, began at the famous resort of Pahalgam in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday, an official spokesman said.

The popular tourist spot reverberated with colourful activities, including cultural programmes, display of art and craft, live painting and calligraphy both by amateurs and professionals, as the carnival organised by the Directorate of Tourism, Kashmir, began at the resort in south Kashmir's Anantnag district, he said.

The festival was inaugurated by Director Tourism, Kashmir, G N Itoo.

Traditional music performances by renowned singers, ‘tonga’ rides, adventure sports activities and other activities attracted a good participation of locals and tourists for the two-day event, the spokesman said.

He said the festival is being conducted to revive the tourism sector, which had been adversely affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and to promote the popular resort for the winter season also.

The festival includes an exhibition of crafts drawn from adjoining villages, tapestry of cottage craft and handicrafts, cuisine, fruits, and other components of the village economy, he said.

Hundreds of tourists who are enjoying the winter stay at Pahalgam attended the event, the spokesman said.

Speaking on the occasion, Itoo said the festival is a part of the department's initiative to promote Pahalgam as a winter destination and also display rural flavour to the visitors.

“Pahalgam is primarily a summer destination but we want to invite tourists to Pahalgam in the winter months also which looks so beautiful during snowfall. Though the Gulmarg ski resort is most sought after during winter months, this event will attract travelers from across the country to Pahalgam also during these months,” he said. PTI SSB AQS AQS