KISHTWAR: Season’s first snowfall has transformed Kishtwar district into a winter wonderland, setting the stage for a spectacular Snow Mela organized by the District Administration Kishtwar in collaboration with the Directorate of Tourism Jammu and Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art Culture and Languages.
The event unfolded here on the iconic Chowgan Ground under the supervision of Deputy Commissioner, Dr. Devansh Yadav and involvement of other stakeholders.
Deputy Commissioner was the Chief Guest, while SSP Abdul Qayoom was guest of honour. ADDC Ghulam Rasool and ADC Varunjeet Singh Charak were special guests .
Among other government functionaries present were Dy. SP Hqrs Ishan Gupta, Dy SP DAR Sajjad Khan, EO Municipal Council, Ninad Sen, DYSSO Kharati Lal Sharma, Chief Education Officer Prehlad Bhagat, I/C JKAACL Gulab Saifi and other officers and officials of Civil and police were also participated in the event.
The programme was well coordinated and managed by the Nodal Officer/State Tax Officer Circle Kishtwar Maneet Sharma.
The Snow Mela, a celebration of the enchanting snowy landscape, attracted a massive turnout of about 4000 locals and visitors alike. The sprawling Chowgan Ground became a hub of activity, offering a myriad of attractions for the attendees.
Cultural performances by local artists and musicians like Touqeer Ali of Bhaderwah, Kishtwar Idol fame Mamta Shan, Janveer Aryan, Rohan Bhandari, Kishtwar Art production added a vibrant touch to the event, with locals showcasing their talents in dance, music, and traditional arts. The stage came alive with the rich cultural heritage of Kishtwar, captivating the audience and fostering a sense of community spirit.
Thrill-seekers reveled in the excitement of zorbing, rolling down snow-covered ground in giant transparent spheres, creating laughter and joy. The kids bounced with delight on trampolines, showcasing the event’s inclusivity.
Competitive spirits soared as participants engaged in friendly yet spirited matches of tug of war, snow football, Archery and Kabbadi, adding a touch of traditional sportsmanship to the festivities organised by District Youth Services and Sports Department on the occasion. The Motor Vehicle Department conducted awareness under the aegis of ongoing Road Safety Month.
Amidst the snow-laden surroundings, food stalls of restaurants Kishtwar Valley, Coffee Cafe, Riwayat, Khew Chew adorned with local cuisine became a culinary delight for attendees. From piping hot traditional Kashmiri dishes to steaming cups of ‘Kahwa,’ the stalls offered a taste of the region’s rich culinary heritage.
The artistic flair of participants were shone through in the snowman competition, where imaginative creations dotted the landscape, turning the ground into a temporary art gallery of frosty sculptures.
Speaking on the occasion, the DC and SSP extended the felicitation of Sheen Mubarak (Happy New Year Snow fall) to all the citizens of Kishtwar besides appreciating the stakeholders who made this event a grand success within a short span of time.
The Deputy Commissioner, expressing satisfaction over the success of the Snow Mela, emphasized the role of such events in promoting tourism, cultural exchange, and community engagement. He stated, “The Snow Mela is not just an event; it’s a celebration of our rich heritage, natural beauty, and the spirit of Kishtwar. We envision more such initiatives to showcase the distinctiveness of our region.”
The proceedings of the event were well moderated by Awani Sen.
The historical Chowgan Ground, spanning 33 acres and surrounded by pine and chinar trees, especially the renowned land mark “Char Chinar”, stood as a testament to Kishtwar’s unique charm. The ground, nestled amidst mountains on all four sides, offered a picturesque view resembling a lotus, enhancing the allure for both residents and visitors.
Tourist Reception Centre (TRC) and nearby stay house facilities further heightened the appeal for visitors.
The convenience of accommodation near Chowgan Ground provided tourists with an opportunity to extend their stay and explore the scenic beauty and cultural richness of Kishtwar.
As the sun set on the snowy landscape, leaving behind a glow of satisfaction and joy, the Snow Mela in Kishtwar proved to be more than an event – it was a magical celebration uniting people in the embrace of winter’s enchantment. The echoes of laughter, the vibrant cultural performances, and the warmth of community spirit lingered, promising more memorable celebrations in the years to come.