Tahir Nadeem Khan Yusafzai Bhaderwah, Although being promoted for the first time as a major winter tourism destination by the Tourism Department and Bhaderwah Development Authority (BDA), the Padri meadow has instantly caught the fancy of tourists and become a hit with skiers and alpinists.
BDA and JK Tourism Department have gone all out to showcase the Bhaderwah Valley to the outer world as an adventure hub and an ideal destination for winter sports, especially skiing, by inviting national-level skiers and alpinists for a week-long adventure training course.
Located at 11,400 feet from sea level, the Padri meadow is strategically located on the inter-state Bhaderwah-Chamba Road, just 37 km from the town.
The Tourism Department, in collaboration with BDA and Jawahar Institute of Mountaineering and Winter Sports (JIM), organized a week-long adventure training programme and snow sports from March 19, in which locals as well as 30 adventure lovers drawn from different states are participating.
As part of the adventure training, skiing and snow rescue activity was also organized at Padri, but little did the authorities know that the snow-filled meadow located on the one side of the mighty Ashapati glacier will become such a hit.
“I have been skiing since 2012 at different places and have also competed at the national-level several times, but after training and skiing here, I fell in love with this place as this can be developed as one of the best skiing destinations in the world. I hope that the government will do the needful,” said Tsering Ladol, a national-level skier and alpinist who conquered Everest at the age of 14.
“I have been training Skiers across the country, but I never expected that we have a destination like Padri, which is as good as Gulmarg. If developed, it can become a hub for winter sports, especially skiing,” said Mehfooz Elahi, Chief Instructor JIM.
The organizers are all smiles as their efforts seem to be bearing fruit earlier than they expected. “We put our heart and soul to make this programme a success, but we never expected such a massive and overwhelming response, that too from the skiers and trainers of national repute. The reviews and the number of inquiries we have been receiving during the last two days about Padri have not only lifted our morale, but now we will surely go an extra mile to make Padri an international skiing destination,” said R P Khajuria, CEO BDA
Credit:-Tahir Nadeem Khan Yusafzai Bhaderwah