'Chillai Kalan' festival organized at Pahalgam in South Kashmir
Pahalgam: 'Vomedh', a local cultural organization, in collaboration with Jammu Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation (JKTDC) organized a day-long 'Chillai Kalan' festival on Wednesday with the aim of promoting tourism, especially during winters in the tourist resort of Pahalgam in Anantnag district of South Kashmir.
'Chillai Kalan' is the harshest winter period of 40 days in Kashmir during which temperatures dip below zero in the night and severe cold is witnessed during the days.
The festival's main attraction was Prerna Bhat, a celebrity guest from Mumbai, who along with locals and tourists, participated in the event.
'The day I got an invitation to attend the festival, I said yes. Despite my busy schedule, I accepted the invitation because I wanted to go to Kashmir, my birthplace. there can't be any other good news than to get an invitation to visit Kashmir. I am feeling very much blessed," Prerna Bhat said.
Various musical programmes were held on this occasion, enthralling the locals and tourists.
"I am feeling very good. We arrived here on Tuesday. Luckily, this festival was organised on Wednesday. We toured the area and attended the event. I am feeling good because we got to see some traditional dance and shows," said Sanika Dulani, a tourist who had come to Kashmir for the first time.
According to the founder, 'Vomedh', the festival aims to showcase the potential of Pahalgam during winter, which is otherwise famous as a summer destination.
"Everyone knows we have worked throughout the year in Jammu and Kashmir. We held a Film festival, especially in Kashmir. We worked on the language. We held the event throughout the year. Our mentor Rakesh Roshan Bhatt Ji told us we will conclude the year's event by planning a festival on December 21 (Chilli Kalan starts on this day) in Pahalgam," Rohit Bhat, founder of Vomedh told ANI.
The local residents who are associated with tourism in Pahalgam appreciated the initiative as it will boost winter tourism in the area.
Mohd Arif, a local, told ANI, "This festival is a very good initiative. Keeping in view the weather which changes during the winter. It is a good move to celebrate Chillai Kalan here. Through music, one can express oneself. Every kind of emotion is identified with a particular climate. Similarly, we celebrated the Chillai Kalan Festival this year".
Locals exuded confidence that such activities would increase the footprint of tourists during winters in Pahalgam.
Raza, another local, said, "They have taken a very good step. We have been invited by Rohit Ji. We want to express our sincere gratitude to him. it is also good for tourism especially keeping in view the fact that there is a myth that Kashmir valley gets isolated during the winter season from the rest of the country".
This festival is a series of events in 40 days of "Chillai Kalan".