SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir government today kick-started a two-day snow festival in the famous hill resort of Pahalgam in south Kashmir.
Tourism Minister G A Mir inaugurated the festival at the resort, 100-km from here, by flagging off a skiing rally, an official spokesman said.
"The festival's main objective is to motivate more and more tourists to visit Pahalgam and other tourist attractions in the valley so that people linked to the tourism sector are benefitted with better self-employment opportunities," the minister said.
Detailing steps taken by the government to upgrade the facilities at newly-discovered tourist spots, Mir said Aru in Pahalgam is being given special attention in respect of development.
Pahalgam is known as summer retreat and the idea to have a snow festival at the hill resort was conceived by Chief Executive Officer of the Pahalgam Development Authority Riyaz Ahmad Wani.
"The idea to have a snow festival at Pahalgam is aimed at popularising the tourist resort for winter season as well," Wani said.
He said major highlights of the festival include a ski lantern show, 'Sheen Jung' (throwing of snow balls) championship, snow rubgy, snow sculptor championship and music performance.
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