From Kargil War Site To Tourist Haven: Scenic Gurez Valley Road Opens Up For Tourism

The Gurez valley in north Kashmir, which was once inaccessible to civilians due to frequent shelling from Pakistan, is now set to connect with the Mushkoh valley in Kargil’s Drass Sector, Ladakh, where India and Pakistan battled in 1999.

This 130-km road has recently been opened up for tourists, with Kaobal Gali, the highest pass at 4,166.9 metres in Gurez, serving as the link between the two valleys.

With the ceasefire agreement between India and Pakistan holding for the 43rd consecutive month, there is growing hope that peace will bring an increase in tourism and commerce to the region, according to The Hindu‘s reporting.

During the Kargil war, most villagers were forced to leave the Gurez valley. However, the situation has now become peaceful.

The Gurez valley, home to about 38,000 residents, has already clocked 50,000 tourists this year. This is a remarkable increase compared to previous years, where the maximum number of tourists visiting Gurez in a year was only 5,000.

Situated near the Line of Control (LoC), the Gurez valley is bordered by the Kishanganga river, which serves as a demarcation line in several areas.

The road connecting the two valleys is currently being maintained by the Border Roads Organisation under Beacon. However, it is only a fair-weather road at the moment. Beyond Abdulin, near Kaobali Gali, the stretch can only be travelled on by 4×4 vehicles.

Gurez valley stands out in Kashmir as one of the few habitations where villages consist solely of log houses without any urban concrete materials. It is also a habitat for ibex, musk deer, and marmots.

The meadows of Mushkoh are adorned with vibrant wild tulip flowers and offer breathtaking views of glaciers. Additionally, the valley is home to the endangered Himalayan yew.

The Mushkoh valley, with its beautiful meadows of flowers, gained attention during the bloody battle between India and Pakistan at Tiger Hill, resulting in the loss of many soldiers on both sides.

However, the ceasefire has brought hope, not only for peace but also for people to come and experience the wonders of the terrain in both Kashmir and Ladakh.

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