JAMMU: Advisor to the Governor, Mr. Khurshid Ahmed Ganai, inaugurated the Lohri Festival with traditional fanfare amid a large gathering of people on the banks of River Tawi, here this evening. The festival marks the beginning of the end of winter season and celebration of arrival of longer days.
Secretary Tourism, Mr. Rigzin Samphael, Director Tourism Jammu, Mr. O. P. Baghat, CEO Mansar Tourism Development Authority, Nagendra Jamwal and other senior officers of the Tourism Department were present on the occasion.
In his welcome address, the Advisor urged the Tourism Department to coordinate with tour and travel players of neighbouring states to promote tourism in the Jammu Division, which has a large number of nature spots. He also stressed upon the need to enhance the visibility of leisure resorts like Basohli Lake in Kathua district and other scenic spots of Jammu region to increase the footfall of tourists from states like Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh in the coming summer season. “Since very few people are aware about Basohli Lake, aggressive marketing is required to launch it as an ideal tourist destination,” he added.
Ganai, who is also in-charge of the Tourism Department, expressed hope that this Lohri heralds a year of peace, brotherhood and faster development in the State. He also hoped that this year will see bumper harvest of crops for the farmers of the State.
In his address, Secretary Tourism described Lohri as a national festival. He also outlined the steps taken by the Department to promote tourism in the State.
Earlier, the artistes of J&K Academy of Art, Culture & Languages presented a feast of cultural programmes and traditional folk songs which captivated the audience present on the occasion. The Lohri celebrations culminated with the lighting of the bonfire.