Communal riots destroy adventure tourism along Manali-Kishtwar route
MANALI: Riots in Kishtwar have proved fatal for adventure
tourism of Himachal along Manali-Kilaar-Kishtwar as most of the bike and jeep safari tours on this route have cancelled for the season. Taxi operators in
Himachal are not ready to lend their cabs to tourists for any part of Jammu and Kashmir.
Manali – Kishtwar – Jammu – Srinagar road safari
Daunting Delhi-Manali-Kilaar-Kishtwar-Srinagar
route had emerged as one of the most thrilling jeep safari routes of the
country in past few years after Kishtwar district saw decrease in militancy.
There were many jeep safari tours on this route till late September which are
believed to have cancelled due to increasing sectarian tensions in Kishtwar.
Lahaul and Pangi regions are most affected by the cancellation of tours.
Dhani Thakur
from Himalyan Eagle Adventures said, “I cancelled my bike and jeep safari tour
on Kilaar-Kishtwar-Jammu route as I don’t want to take any risk with lives of
my clients.” Most of the travel agents are not accepting booking for this route
for August month. Some years back it was presumed that this route has many
flood prone areas which may block the least maintained road any time and it may
take months for authorities to make it worth driving. Even today drivers charge
almost double fare to accept booking for this road.
“This route is
paradise for adventure lovers but violence in Kishtwar has ruined the season. Some
safari tours have diverted to Manali-Leh road while others have cancelled their
plans,” said Suresh Sharma from Himachal Vacation Travels and Adventure who
organizes safari tours on this route. According to him the entire length of the
route is in good condition as the areas along road are receiving almost no
rain.
Even a query of
hiring cab for Manali-Kishtwar route is sending shivers down the spines of
drivers. “Even if somebody pays ten times more fare I will not go on this road.
Residents of Kishtwar are putting vehicles on fire. I’m not ready to take the
risk,” replies Ghanshyam Thakur, a Manali based taxi driver.
After this route
between Himachal and Jammu and Kashmir was gaining popularity, many local
residents had erected dhabas and offering accommodation in Gulabgarh, Sol,
Kilaar, Purthi, Shor and Tindi who are now suffering the brunt of rare use of
this highway by people.

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