Refer news item “CS directs promotion of 75 New Tourist destinations” DE Sept 9. In this connection I would like to request Director Tourism Deptt Jammu to consider “Sudhmahadev. Mantalai” area of Tehsil Chenani for development under promotion of New Tourist Destination Scheme.
Pertinent to mention that both these villages have vast potential of religions, heritage, adventure and general Tourism.
At Mantalai there are unexplored Archeological sites at Airfield and a fifteen century Garh Barkot Fort on the bank of Holy Devika rivulet in nearby area. Moreover, both these villages have good road connectivity. These places are visited by thousands of visitors every year, but due to lack of tourism related infrastructure, the tourist return back on the same day. Years ago, this area was approved by the Govt for raising Guest House facilities with individual houses to encourage stay of tourists in homely atmosphere, but due to carelessness on the part of concerned Departments, the scheme could not be implemented on the ground.
The scenic beauty, lofty hillocks all around, dense forests, heritage bowlis, holy rivulets, ancient temples and vast agriculture fields have remained the source of attraction of the visitors at Sudhmahadev- Mantalai. The Ring Road sanctioned at Sudhmahadev twenty years ago for the extension and promotion of tourism related facilities could not be started till now due to a minor issue of court stay. The fact of the matter is that people want to visit this area for months to feel the sweetness of nature in dense forests of Dhar Shivgarh and Mantalai but one or two guest houses cannot accommodate the inflow of thousands of tourists at peak season, so the tourists take other route.
On the basis of above submissions, it is hoped that Tourism Department would consider the merits of Sudhmahadev-Mantalai for strengthening and promotion of this area under New Tourist Destination Scheme.
Rajinder Chand Anthal
Zonal Education Officer (Retd) Chenani