Gurez is at the crest of Kashmir. The valley lies in the midst of elevated Himalayas, nearly 86 kms from the district Bandipora and around 123 kms away from Srinagar in the north of Kashmir. It lies at an altitude of nearly 8,000 ft above sea level. This attractive place is still unexplored by the tourists. The Gurez valley with cold gentle wind, snow capped peaks, smiling beautiful faces of Dards who are the people of Gurez, the wooden small houses, gives a relaxation to the eyes. Gurez valley is close to the Line of Control, so it is close to the foreigners.
Even the visitors from the valley of Kashmir need a special permit from the administration of district to enter into the valley of Gurez. This picturesque valley is on the ancient Silk Route & it connects Kashmir valley to Dras and Gilgit in Ladakh. Gurez has a distinctive culture and exclusive lifestyle and language. Its architecture is also unique from the other parts of the Kashmir valley. The people of Gurez mainly speak Shina language. The flora and fauna of Gurez is so different including the Brown Bear of Himalayas and Snow Leopard.
The crystal clear water of the Neelum River streams through the Gurez valley. The whole thing seems so courageous; the mountains are there for rock climbing while the limpid water for river rafting. Foreign tourists get attracted by these specialties of Gurez.
In Kashmir, many festivals are celebrated by the people. One such festival is the Gurez festival. The Gurez festival is celebrated to enhance the tourism in the valley and also outside the country. The festival shows the cuisine, culture, customary handicrafts and also the sports of Gurez valley.
The two days Gurez festival is arranged by the Department of Tourism with the main aim highlighting potential of tourism of Gurez in the country and also in abroad. The Gurez festival clearly displays the conventional handicrafts, sumptuous cuisine and the rich culture along with various sports of the valley. During the fiesta days different activities which are related to tourists are organized at different tourism spots. Their main aim is to emphasize adventure, river & eco tourism, leisure, in addition to the culture and art of the valley. On this occasion, numerous vibrant and entertaining cultural programs are performed by the local artists, theatre artists and also by school & college students.
The people of the valley assemble and the local people perform conventional cultural programs on the opening of the 2 days Gurez fiesta. The major attraction of this festival are folk dances of Gurez, songs, music in addition to cycling, zorbing, rafting, trekking that fascinates the audience who enjoy adventurous sports. The water rafting is a permanent element of the Gurez festival. It is organized in the Kishenganga River and a camp place is also there in the beautiful Dawar valley of Gurez. In this fiesta, in addition to other programs, there are musical programs arranged in which neighboring people participates. There are various competitive functions, painting and drawing competition and the most celebrated angling competition.
Gurez festival is celebrated in the exquisite and alluring valley of Kashmir every year. Perched in the foothills of the Himalayan range, Gurez is an unexplored tourist spot with picturesque landscapes and breathtaking atmosphere.
Time of Festival
The Gurez festival is celebrated during summers in July and August.
Point to Remember
The Gurez festival is celebrated during summers. During this season the temperature of the Kashmir valley is moderate. So, it is better to take necessary preparations before planning the trip and visiting the valley for this Gurez festival.
There are no entry fees for this festival. It is open for all the people from all religions and communities.
Effects on Tourism
This Gurez festival has helped a lot in increasing the tourism in the Gurez, Kashmir. It has also become an added attraction for tourists to stay longer in Kashmir Valley. The tourists love to participate in the different sports and witnesses various programs held during the festival. They also enjoy the breath taking view of the picturesque valley.
How to Reach
The valley of alluring beauty and incredible Himalayan Mountains, Gurez is an unexplored tourist destination. Gurez proffers the opportunity to take pleasure in its serene beauty and also different adventures and sports.
The closest airport is of Srinagar which is nearly 123 kms from Gurez. Jeeps and cabs are easily obtainable outside the airport to get to Gurez. Srinagar is well linked to all the major cities in India with regular flights.
Gurez is well associated by bus services with most of the cities of Jammu & Kashmir. State transport buses and Private tourist buses are easily obtainable to get to Gurez from different parts of J&K.
By RailThe nearest railway station from Gurez is the railway station of Jammu. Jammu is well connected by railways to all the major cities in India. Taxis and cabs are easily obtainable outside the station to get to Gurez.
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