Katra Railway Station

Redefining Mata Vaishno Devi Pilgrimage

The foot hills of Katra, base camp of Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine nestled in the Trikuta hills, is all set to welcome the arrival of world’s largest railway network in its picturesque valley. The township which is in the habit of waking up to the ‘jugal bandi’ of  musical beads wrapped around ponies, mules ferrying pilgrims up the zig zag track will now hear loud whistle of train chugging in from Udhampur. For past several years the Katra township is gearing up to welcome the arrival of the rail network but delays caused in completion of the tunnel work along the track prolonged the wait. Now when the successful trail run of the special train has been conducted by the …

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Jammu Railway station

Road Shows are fine but who will provide basic facilities to pilgrims/tourists

Ahead of the tourist season the state tourism minister visit different cities/countries with an aim to promote ‘exotic’ destinations across the state through different mediums and ad-campaigns.  The state Chief Minister Omar Abdullah is also keen on promoting various tourist destinations but has failed to upgrade the basic infrastructure at the tourist arrival points here in the city of temples. Despite all this some of the key departments are playing spoil sport and painting ‘dirty picture’ of the state in front of the fresh arrivals in the state. The tourists/pilgrims may come via rail, road or by air but they all get a taste of things immediately after landing in the ‘city of temples’.  Stepping out of the railway station …

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Saddled in the ‘HOT SEAT’ Omar gearing up to face 2014 limus test

The five year long journey started since January 2009 has been a roller coaster ride for him and his followers in the virtual world as well. Wearing ‘crown of thorns’ he faced many ups and downs in his ‘tumultuous’ political career and learnt many a trade secrets on how to survive a political storm remaining in the company of ‘faithful’ advisors. To get the best advice he, however, shuffled them at regular intervals and in return appeased almost all the deprived legislators with perks of power. To handle the affairs of the state, which many a times went totally out of control, he was seen shuttling between New Delhi and Kashmir valley to keep the political masters in good humour …

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raghunath bazar

Who will Convert Historical Raghunath Bazaar in to a Heritage Market?

Since 2008 the residents of Jammu city have been fed that the state government is keen on converting historical Raghunath bazaar in to a famous heritage centre by way of upgrading facilities and introducing ornamental lights, decked up pavements, underground cabling of electric wires but the regular visitors to the market continue to face hardships on account of lack of basic amenities in the crowded market flooded with visitors/tourists from different parts of the country. The beautification project sanctioned at a whopping cost of Rs. 6.62 crore is yet to take off in the absence of political will and lack of interest shown by the elite babus and local businessmen. Till date negligible work has been done for the beautification …

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Gurdas Mann mesmerized Jammuities

Jammu festival enthralls audience but not tourists?

The six day long Jammu Festival brought together Jammuities, braving harsh weather conditions, in large numbers on single platform and revived the festival spirit centering around rich cultural heritage and traditions of Dogra rulers. But if the objective of the festival was to attract a large number of tourists to Jammu and Kashmir, the organisers failed to attract them.  Reason, the festival was planned in such a fashion where participation of tourists was near impossible.  Barring heritage market of Raghunath bazaar the tourists were present nowhere near the venues of the cultural events.  For example, entry passes were required to gain entry inside the venues where musical events were organised and the same were not available to tourists. So the …

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