Shiv Kumar Padha
Atal Setu, the cable stayed bridge, 88 Sq Kms stretch of crystal clear blue wate lake, Purthu Beach, forts and historical temples are the ideal tourist spots worth seeing in the entire area. The opening of the Atal setu has thrown open the flood gates for the tourists, as a result, hundreds of tourists from the neighbouring states throng Basohli even without any amenities and facilities available there from the tourism department.
Basohli tourism has got good potential of offering multi dimensional tourism to the tourists of different tastes. We can classify the Basohli tourism into Water tourism, Beach tourism, Eco tourism, Romantic tourism and Historical tourism. On one side, the lake offers water sports, water games, boating, surf riding, para sailings and many other allied games, on the other, Purthu beach is a place which can be developed into a place for night stays for enjoying, camp fires and other amusements. Atal Setu, being unique in the technology and architecture, has taken the shape of romantic tourism and the Chanchlo mata shrine and the forest around can offer eco tourism.
Water tourism: The 88 Sq Kms crystal clear blue water lake has emerged as an ideal spot for water games, canoeing, kayaking, surf riding, water skying and para sailing. The tourism department is working on a roadmap under which more high power motor boats are being added to the already fleet of ten boats. According to the roadmap, the whole stretch of water is divided into two parts, one creek of back waters towards Plahi while the other comprises of the main lake. The paddle boats will row in the creek and the bigger games like surf riding , para sailing boat races will be allowed in the main lake. The tourists enjoy the motor boat rides along with their families.
Purthu Beach: A peninsular beach has been formed which, resembles the one at Goa that is the reason it is called Mini Goa Beach. The tourist throng the beach in thousands on the week ends where they spend their whole day in dancing on the tunes of DJs. They take part in Camp fires and spend their nights in the tents. The beach is so beautiful that every tourist seems tempted towards it. The ripples produced in the major portion of the lake present a very charming view.
Atal Setu : The bridge has turned into a major attraction for tourists. Its unique design and technology makes it a place worth seeing for the persons linked with the world of structures and designing in the country. Apart from the visitors, many students of Engineering colleges visit it for getting the first hand knowledge about it. The Bridge Atal Setu resembles the Golden Gates of San Fransisco of USA and Vidya Sagar Setu over Hoogly in Kolkatta. Atal Setu remains crowded with the tourists during the evening times on any day of the week but the number of the tourists increases on the week-ends where many parents get the pre wedding movies of their brides and grooms. The tourists while enjoying the cool breeze from below the lake water also enjoy the boat trip crossing underneath the bridge. In the evenings many families from the adjoining areas are found taking family photographs and selfies with their friends. Many TV serial songs and shots are taken from over and below the bridge. Atal Setu looks more a tourist spot than a means of connectivity.
Eco tourism: The whole lake water encircles the pyramid type cliffs of forest clad hills. One of them is the Chanchlo Mata shrine forest hill which is thickly grown with the trees and abounds in the wild animals, and birds like peacocks. Thousands of the devotees throng the Temple situated on the top of the hill every year in order to pay their obeisance to the godess. The whole environment around the temple is peaceful and an ideal place for yoga, meditation and isolation. The place is worth developing into an eco tourism which is hardly available in and around the whole area of Basohli.
Monuments: The ruins of the Basohli palaces are still a destination worth seeing . The Palaces of Basohli, once known as the wonder of the east are still an attraction. One can still see the mural paintings on the walls of the rooms. The design of the palaces resembles that of Hydeiberg UK. Many tourists visit the ruins and feel fascinated during the time they remain there.
It is beyond any question that the Tourism at Basohli is a multi faceted and multi dimensional as it caters to the needs of the tourists having different tastes. But being in the infancy stage, much is needed be done in order to enhance the number of the tourists.
* Something unique and new needs be done. The tourists be provided with the basic amenities.
* Tourist reception centre be established near Atal Setu where the tourists can be served tea, breakfast, dinner and lunch and where the tourists can rest under shade during scorching heat of the sun and the chilling cold of the winter.
* The number of the boats be increased and make them secure against any mishap.
* The boats which have become merely exhibits be got repaired or auctioned. The approach road to the jetties from where the tourists board the boats must be made worth the human use.
The tourism department should immediately take some measures so that the torism at Basohli can be enhanced and made attractive. It should be accepted that Basohli tourism is not second to any other in the state. It is high time to keep tourism alive in the Jammu even if it happens to be at Basohli.
Shiv Kumar Padha