In an effort to help promote winter tourism in this picturesque valley of Jammu and Kashmir’s Doda district, the University of Jammu on Sunday started a 10-day ‘visit to hidden glaciers’ trekking expedition here. The expedition, in which 40 trekkers drawn from the Jammu university and its affiliated colleges besides 10 staff members and professional trekkers are participating, was flagged off from Bhaderwah Campus by Director Sports and Physical Education, University of Jammu, Daud Iqbal Baba.
“After exploring Markha Valley of Ladakh last year, this year we are here on a 10-day hiking and trekking expedition as this valley possess ample scope for adventure enthusiasts and can be developed as a major attraction for adventure lovers in the winters as well,” Baba told PTI. He said the university has launched ‘visit to hidden glaciers’ initiative to attract adventure enthusiasts to let them explore the virgin mountains of Jammu and Kashmir and to make siren destinations like Bhaderwah an all season attraction for the tourists. All the 50 trekkers have been asked to share their trekking experience on social media accounts, Baba said, adding it will help to reach the maximum number of people and achieve the goal to highlight the tourism potential of the valley. “The hiking and trekking expedition to the glaciers is primarily aimed at promoting adventure and winter tourism simultaneously to make Bhaderwah valley an international trekking destination,” he said. The participating students, who are going to explore the glaciers of Bhaderwah in the lap of mighty Ashapati, said the initiative of the Jammu University came as a blessing in disguise at this juncture in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which had forced them to stay indoors over the past six months.
“We are very excited to see the mighty Ashapati Glacier and snow filled Kailash mountain range and hope our visit to the glaciers will turn out to be the most exciting and adventurous one,” Ikhlaq Ahmed Malik, a trekker from Jammu University, said.
Asif Karim, a student of Government Degree College Kalakote in Rajouri district, said they were frustrated and feeling depressed as being a sports person it is very difficult and nerve wrenching to sit idle and do no physical activities for such a long period owing to coronavirus.
External Relation Officer Bhaderwah Campus of Jammu University Aarif Khateeb said the trekkers would explore different locations in and around Bhaderwah and Jai including Ashapati Glacier, Guldanda, Bheja, Khanni Top, Thanthera, Basak Challa, Hanga, Mathola, Jai Gathi and Bash Dhar during the 10-day expedition.