SRINAGAR: For a moment, forget your work stress and become a villager in Jammu and Kashmir.
Manoj Sinha-led government has set up a first-of-its-kind tourism village to lure visitors who want to escape the noisy cities and breathe some fresh air in the farm settings.
On Monday, Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Raghav Langer, inaugurated the Tourist Village at Panchari in Udhampur district.
Panchari Village is a hill resort covered with rich conifer forest on one side and a small township on the other side. It is surrounded by Natha Top on the East, Saroli Dhar on the West, Shankhpaul Dhar on the North, and Kainth Gali on the South.
Located 45 kilometres from Udhampur and 103 kilometres from Jammu, Panchari is an ideal place for trekking, camping, and small getaways in the lap of nature, away from the city life.
The village also houses the revered Shankari Devta temple. Every year in August-September, hundreds of devotees visit the temple during the annual mela.
A directory of all the verified volunteers has been made available for the visiting tourists so that they may directly contact the concerned for homestay. A total of 29 homestays with clearance from police authorities have been identified at Panchari for the visiting tourists.
A Reception Center has been established at Krimchi to welcome the tourists. A list of trekking routes and camping sites has been identified. As of now, keeping in view the safety of the tourists, only day camping has been allowed in the area by the District Administration.
Besides, a special craft bazaar has been established in the tourist village where local items shall be made available for sale to promote the local art.
Tourist village will give a home away from home experience to the visitors.
Guests will be served local cuisine. It will preferably be prepared in front of the guests in the rural kitchen home to make them a part of it.
Tourists shall be taken to a farm to see how cows, buffalos, poultry etc are mended. If tourists wish, they can be given the opportunity to milk cows and collect eggs, etc.
Breakfast will be served in the kitchen itself. Freshly cooked meals will be served. No plastic utensils shall be utilized and no garbage shall be thrown in open.
The guests can be taken for an adventure trip outside the farm, maybe waterbody or hilltop. Some packed snacks shall be taken along and no vehicles will be allowed. Only ponies can be hired.
Tourists shall be taken to pre-identified places near the hills to make them aware of the plant ecosystem
If booked earlier, a campsite can be developed. This comes under an adventure package. Food shall be prepared on the site.
“This package shall be developed after thorough site research and police verification. No night camping will be allowed. This location and preparation of bonfire have to be done before and,” said an officer.