Mahadeep Singh JamwalTourism is a travel for pleasure, also the theory and practice of touring, the business of attracting, accommodating, and entertaining tourists, and the business of operating tourists. Tourism was recognized in the Manila Declaration on World Tourism of 1980 as “an activity essential to the life of Nations because of the direct effects on the social, cultural, educational, and economic sectors of National societies and in their international relations”. The tourism brings large amounts of income into a local economy. The Jammu and Kashmir has tourism potential in abundance, but it requires exploration. It has been observed that the Government has never bothered to conduct survey in real sense for identifying rural areas for developing it as a real tourist spots, particularly in Jammu division. The Patnitop, Sanasar, Kud, Sudhmahadev, Mantalai, Lander Panchari, Krimchi Mansar, Saruinsar Mansar, Ramnagar, Basohli, Billawar, Bani, Akhnoor, in the districts of Udhampur & Kathua and un-accountable spots in districts of Samba, Jammu, Rajouri, Poonch, Ramban, Doda and Kishtwar are worth places for attraction of lacks of the people having tourism impact in their mind. The Tourism department is confined to develop already developed tourist spots and in real sense has failed to expend the big chunk of budgetary allocations for moving farther for new destinations especially in rural areas, and in this way huge amount finds its route in other channels in the shape of corruption and wasteful expenditures. Many years back some projects undertaken in Jammu and Udhampur as Jammu artificial lake, Gandola project in Patnitop, Tourist circuit of PDA Patnitop connecting Kud- Patnitop- Sudhmahadev-Mantalai and Maal road Kud has yet to see the day of their finality and have become a matter of enjoy for various development authorities created by the Government. These Development authorities have never convened the meetings of locals to involve them in development of their tourist spots. Before taking up a place for development as a tourist spot, some factors require consideration such as; distance from the launching destination, distance on foot from road head, topography of the area, environment of the area, availability of water resources, matter of attraction, living accommodation, historical linkage, recreational aspects availability are the main factors. The region had number of religious places but except paying obeisance at these places, the visitors have no recreational facility associated with these religious destinations of the areas. There are many such places which can be developed as complete tourist destinations having all requirements of staying, recreation, tracking and religious touch also. Among such places the ‘Mata Mahamaya village Urlian’ located in the middle of ‘Maha Maya Forest’ is a wonderful destination for tourists and requires exploration only. The village is blessed by the divine seat of ‘Mata Mahamaya’ at its top and this sacred place is visited by thousands of pilgrims during Navratra’s festivals, hundreds on every Tuesday apart from daily visitors. The people track a distance of about 2/3 kilometers on foot which is mountainous in nature with many unique and charming places en-route such as ‘Balungarh Baouli’ ‘Talli Sula’, ‘Channu Sula’, ‘Bagh’ etc. The village is surrounded by the Cheer forest and is a wonderful hub of many human friendly animals and birds. It is located in ‘Karahi Dhar’ sub range of Shivalik Hills based along the steep slope of the “Karahi Dhar” village Urlian is located. It is a historical and native village of Veer Chakra awardees late Subedar Krishan Singh Jamwal, and many personalities having honor of serving with then rulers of Jammu and Poonch. In spite of sloppy natural landscape of the area, it is blessed with a number of historical natural resources of water, known as ‘Baoulies’ in Dogri. The most prominent among them are ‘Baouli Kugga-Dabbarh’, ‘Baouli Paddar’, ‘Muse Dee Baouli’, ‘Dhak Baouli’, Malungarh Baouli’, ‘Chashma Narh-Moreh’, ‘Chashma Parley-Thein’, ‘Chashma-Jagtehdi’, ‘Talli Sulah’, ‘Channu Sullah,’ ‘Purana Khuh’, ‘Bagh Khuh’, with many of these can be developed into small water bodies for attraction of the visitors.. The places such as ‘Balungarh Baouli’ and ‘Purana Khuh’ can be developed into wonderful parks, being resting place of pilgrims. This spots are blessed with springs of sweet water and a historical Well with number of mango treesaround. A stretch of plane patch known as ‘Kugga Dabbarh’ is a resting place of pilgrims, where people take a complete rest under the shades of mango trees and Banyan tree. This place has the potential to be developed as a small lake with construction of small huts for the pilgrims and for lovers of nature. Additionality of more trees can make this place a heaven. Presently it is utilized as play ground by the children of the village. The ‘University Camps of Udhampur University under establishment is at the periphery of this village Urlian and ‘Kugga Dabbarh’ is just one kilometer from the peripheral edge of this university. A religious circuit involving ‘Mata Baggey Wali’ at village Baggey from Dhar road side, ‘Mata Mahamaya’ at village Urlian and ‘Mata Mahakali’ at Rehamble Udhampur is a unique pilgrimage serving the religious as well as tracking aspects of the visitors. The area well deserves to be explored for forest tracking and to know the nature in real perspective. The potential of this area, if explored by developing it into a tourist spot, will boost the living standards of the adjoining villages such as Ladyala, Lota, Garnai, as it will boost the economic parameters of living a better life by generation of employment avenues. A road under construction is connecting the area with Udhampur – Srinagar By-Pass road, which is going to give a fillip to all such progressive activities. Similarly road connectivity is underway from Jandrah side via Sangyal, a historical place having a dilapidated Dak Bangalow of the historical importance, which is going to connect this area making a wonderful exploration of this area.
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