Welcome to Kashmir: Leisure tourism is passe, wellness tourism is all the rage

IOK - Indian Occupied Kashmir Jammu & Kashmir

SRINAGAR: Forget Kerala, come to Kashmir to detox under the shades of gigantic Chinars and snow-capped mountains.

Jammu and Kashmir government is promoting the valley as the wellness tourism hub in the country. Department of Ayush is setting up wellness centers at prominent tourist destinations to help people de-stress.

Wellness centers are being set up at Pahalgam, Sonamarg, Srinagar, Gulmarg, Katra, Patnitop, and other places. Tourists could bask under nature to detox before leaving for their homes.

“We have set up a facility at Royal Spring Golf Course in Srinagar. We are going to upgrade it. Different therapies will be available for tourists,” Dr. Mohan Singh, Director Ayush, Jammu and Kashmir, told The Kashmir Monitor.

The centers will be having Panchkarma, regiminal therapies, yoga interventions, cupping, and other activities to improve the holistic health of visitors.

“People have different lifestyles and other disorders. Some patients have frozen shoulders, and some have backaches. They have had allopathic treatment for a long. We are providing different interventions. You might have seen cupping which is fast catching up. We take out morbid material from the body which helps the patients,” said Dr Singh.

However, the department is not able to find a suitable place in Gulmarg and Patnitop for the centers. “We have got space in Pahalgam, Sonamarg, Jammu Golf Course, Katra, and Srinagar. Some centers are already functional. However, we are facing problems in getting suitable space in Gulmarg and Patnitop. Once we get the space, we will make the centers functional,” said Dr Singh.

Global Wellness Institute has defined wellness tourism as “travel associated to maintain or enhance one’s well-being and includes the pursuit of physical, mental, spiritual or environmental ‘wellness’ while traveling for either leisure or business.”

Official figures reveal around 2.7 million tourists visited Kashmir last year. This year, the valley is expecting another bumper tourism season. In the first two months of 2023, over 2.5 lakh tourists have already visited Kashmir and the numbers are increasing with each passing day.

Till April, over four lakh tourists have visited Kashmir with the number surging as the summer season nears. The government is expecting to host more than two crore in Jammu and Kashmir this year.

“We want tourists to visit our facilities. They will have a different experience altogether,” said Dr Singh.__The Kashmir Monitor