In Conversation
Mr. Talat Parvez
Jammu & Kashmir Tourism Board
Four new tourism circuits in Jammu & Kashmir

"Peace in the Valley has created physical space for tourism to expand. For the first time since the beginning of militancy, the Jammu and Kashmir tourism department has move beyond Dal Lake and Mughal gardens to enter separatist strongholds in Srinagar’s old city.

Four tourism circuits are coming up in the old city, focused on heritage, crafts and old markets. The ‘Srinagar Walks’ project includes ‘Market Walks’ and ‘Monument Walks’, the latter focused on Zainakadal, the old business centre of the city.

The old city was the epicentre of the summer uprisings of 2008 and 2010. “The situation is now getting better,” director, Tourism Talat Parvez, said. “We have planned to set up tourism circuits in the Shehr-e-Khas (old city)”.

“We have three different styles of architecture in Zainakadal,” Parvez said. “On the banks of the Jhelum, we have the shrine of Khankah-e-Moula, which is a wooden structure. Pather Masjid on the other side of the river is made of stone, while the Mazar-e-Salateen nearby is a masterpiece made of bricks.” Parvez said the tourism department would offer incentives to the local people to set up infrastructure for tourists.

The department is also throwing open a walking circuit from Srinagar’s historic grand mosque in Nowhatta to Rozabal — which many Christians believe is the resting place of Jesus — in Khanyar. Nowhatta has for years been seen as the Valley’s Gaza, with residents taking to the streets and pelting security forces with stones every Friday. Hurriyat moderate Mirwaiz Umar Farooq delivers his Friday sermons from the grand mosque.

We welcome everyone to the beautiful state of Kashmir."

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