Kupwara’s eco-parks attract over 1 lakh tourists, 1,000 trekkers

More to come up; seven trekking routes developed to preserve natural beauty: Official

Tasaduq Hussain

Kupwara, Nov 27 (KNO): With the increasing influx of tourists in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district, the eco-parks developed by Kamraj Forest Division Kupwara have become a major attraction, drawing over one lakh visitors and hosting more than 1,000 offbeat destination lovers who trekked on various routes this year.

The Kamraj Forest Division Kupwara launched successful initiatives last year to develop ecotourism parks to enhance the tourism potential of the district. Three eco-tourism parks—Nagri Wari at Hatmulla, Kairwan at Dever Lolab and Satbaran at Lastiyal Kalaroos—were developed and opened for tourists, which contribute to the livelihood opportunities for local families.

Divisional Forest Officer Kamraj Forest Division Zahid Aslam Mughal told the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that these parks have become the centre of attention for both locals and visitors from different states. He said that not only locals but tourists also have praised these eco-friendly parks.

During the summer, in addition to tourists and local visitors, several educational institutions and environmental enthusiasts visited the parks to experience the beauty and tranquility they offer, the official said.

He said the eco-parks have played a crucial role in providing livelihood opportunities, with makeshift stalls set up at these locations helping unemployed youth and families earn income as tourist footfall increases.

Developed under government schemes, including Green India Mission and CAMPA, these parks offer various experiences such as nature walks, bird watching, and photography. This year, a total of 109,500 tourists visited these parks.

In addition to the eco-parks, Kamraj Forest Division has developed seven trekking routes, including Kalaroose—Z Gali, Kuligam—Zaban, Harwan—Hilltop Zaloora, Watlab—Rajpura—Triumkhan—Dever, Rampur—Marbal—Yemberzalwari—Harwan, and Affan—Kailwan.

These routes have been carefully developed to preserve the natural beauty, the official said, adding that over 1,100 trekking enthusiasts undertook these routes this year.

The official further said that Kamraj Forest Division Kupwara plans to develop five more eco-tourism parks at various locations to further enhance the region’s appeal—(KNO)