SRINAGAR: Tourists who had come to witness the magic of crimson Chinar leaves falling in Autumn here were in for a pleasant surprise as they could catch the white Gulmarg due to early snowfall on Thursday and Friday.
“We were in Srinagar when we heard that the weather was taking a turn,” said Manzar Khan, a tourist from Delhi. “So, we came here and saw the scenic beauty of the valley.
“It’s not wrong to say that if you want to have a glimpse of heaven then it’s in Kashmir, in Gulmarg.”
Asim Kumar Raut from Odisha said he expected to see snow, but not snowfall. “We saw for the first time in our lives.”
Tourists could be seen making snow structures. Many of them were sliding and skating on the snow, and clicked pictures.
“I’ve come to Kashmir for the first time. It’s called heaven on earth and today I have witnessed it myself,” said Suhail Ahmad from West Bengal.
“We went to Pahalgam and Sonmarg, and today we came to Gulmarg. It’s a beautiful valley. I’m experiencing snowfall here for the first time.”
Pune resident Pravidha was all praise for the hospitality of Kashmir and urged everyone to visit the valley to experience its charm.
“It’s my first time in Kashmir and I am planning to visit again soon. I witnessed snowfall for the first time in my life here and this is something you can’t experience from photos or videos, you must visit here.”
“The staff, the cab drivers, they are all very nice and helpful and I believe Kashmiri food is also very exquisite,” she added.
Another tourist, from Gujarat, said Kashmir was “a hundred times better” than what he had imagined. “It’s like we have come to heaven, and the people here are amazing.”
Locals associated with the travel trade are hoping for better business this winter as early snowfall has generated good word of mouth publicity for Kashmir as a destination.
The festival holidays have become a good window for tourist arrivals.
The feedback we have got from our guests makes us hopeful for a better winter season, Shoaib Ali, a tour operator, said.