KISHTWAR, SEPT 24: The two day Wardan Festival, organized in the Warwan valley nestled in the picturesque Kavyard region of Kishtwar district, today culminated with an exhilarating fusion of cultural and adventure activities.
This spectacle was organised by the Directorate of Tourism, Jammu, in collaboration with the District Administration Kishtwar and the J&K Academy of Art, Culture, and Languages.
Drawing an impressive assembly of over 10,000 tourists and adventure aficionados over the span of two days, the festival was earlier inaugurated by Secretary Tourism & Culture, Dr. Syed Abid Rasheed Shah.
The festival offered a wide array of activities, ranging from serene yoga sessions to heart-pounding marathon races, from graceful horseback rides to captivating live painting exhibitions.
Adventure enthusiasts reveled in enthralling activities such as trekking through scenic landscapes, joining spirited bike rallies and embarked on angling expeditions.
During the event, nature enthusiasts indulged in leisurely nature walks and stargazing sessions. Sports enthusiasts engaged in sports activities like volleyball, kho kho, and tug-of-war. The festival featured exhilarating river rafting adventures for the first time ever in this picturesque location. The entertainment quotient was elevated by captivating live musical performances by a lineup of exceptionally talented artists, including Kabul Bukhari, Naseem Ul Haq, Zulaikha Fareed and several renowned local luminaries.
The Wadwan festival was held for two days attracting not only tourists from Kishtwar but also from the neighboring Kashmir region. The first day saw presence of approximately 6,000 attendees, with over 4,000 participants immersing themselves in the concluding day’s festivities. The active participation of the local community contributed an additional layer of vibrancy to the event.
The general public appreciated the role of the Tourism Department Jammu & Kashmir and District Administration Kishtwar for organising the festival.
The Wadwan Festival will now firmly etch its place within national tourism circuits, cementing its status as a significant cultural and adventure extravaganza on the annual calendar.
During his address, Secretary Tourism expressed commitment towards developing the region as a tourism hub. He announced establishment of Yuva Tourism Club in Warwan, an initiative set to ignite the spirit of youth towards tourism. Furthermore, he directed the officers of the Directorate of Tourism Jammu to provide training to tourist guides besides ensuring registration of adventure tour operators from the Warwan Valley within the next month.
In addition, he committed to the registration of one hundred homestays in Warwan and the provision of skill development training to the local youth in collaboration with reputed national stakeholders. The exciting announcements included the imminent introduction of rafting and adventure activities in Warwan and identification of three trekking routes to attract international trekkers, and the ambitious endeavor to place Warwan on the international tourism map.
Secretary Tourism highlighted the importance of preserving the region’s pristine natural beauty and rich cultural heritage for the benefit of future generations was underscored with resounding emphasis.
Deputy Commissioner Kishtwar, Dr. Devansh Yadav, lauded the tireless efforts of the entire team of officers, the Tourism Department and all stakeholders involved in the seamless execution of this magnificent event. He shared his optimism regarding the transformative potential of tourism in enhancing the livelihood opportunities for the residents of Warwan.
Joint Director of Tourism Jammu, Sunaina Sharma Mehta, in her address, underscored the pivotal role of homestays in offering tourists an authentic experience of the local way of life by staying with warm local families. SSP Kishtwar, ADC Kishtwar, CEO KDA, Deputy Director Tourism, AD Tourism, SDM Marwah, SDM Chatroo, DDC members, BDC members and PRIs besides other officials from the civil and police administration were present on the occasion.