Aharbal: Over 2 lakh visitors flock ‘Niagara of Kashmir’ in 6 months

Kulgam: Aharbal, known for its gurgling waterfall and captivating mountain vistas, has drawn over two lakh visitors in six months of this year, official figures said.

Located some 25 kilometres from Kulgam town, Aharbal, often referred to as ‘Niagara of Kashmir’, is abuzz with both local and domestic tourists.

According to details obtained by the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), more than two lakh tourists have visited the scenic destination of Aharbal so far this year.

“In June alone, 2,29,221 visitors thronged the area, including 2,02,428 locals, 26,650 domestic tourists, and 143 foreigners,” the figures reveal.

The monthly breakdown is as follows: 3,655 visitors in January, 19,559 in February, 7,726 in March, 25,750 in April, 19,610 in May, and a record-breaking 152,921 arrivals in June.

Reenu Sharma, a tourist from Delhi, said that she finds Aharbal a very different place compared to others. She said that they got to see a waterfall in Kashmir that is unique to the region.

“The water is so chilled, and the atmosphere is lovely. It is much colder compared to the temperatures outside. We have found relief from the heatwave. There are no issues with police, security, or the public, and people are enjoying themselves here,” she added.

Another tourist said that they felt quite blessed to be in Kashmir and that it was impressive to visit Aharbal. “I have come with my family and will visit Aharbal again in the future. I will also recommend others to visit Kashmir, particularly Aharbal,” he said.

Mushtaq Ahmad, a local visitor, said there is a lot of rush this year, which is a good sign and will promote local businesses.

He said the authorities should build more tourism-related facilities at Aharbal and that enhancing the tourism infrastructure would further boost the place.

“Apart from its natural beauty, the place doesn’t have much to attract visitors. The government needs to work on making it an all-season destination. The place should attract tourists in the same numbers during winter, and for that, authorities need to build tourism infrastructure at Aharbal,” he added.

Speaking to KNO, Ghalib Mohiuddin Shah, Chief Executive Officer, Aharbal Development Authority, said, “Over two lakh people have visited Aharbal. We have witnessed a surge in domestic tourist arrivals this year, and there has also been an increase in foreign tourists as well.”

He said additional infrastructure is being built up at Aharbal to attract more tourists.

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