‘Gateway of terror’ will now captivate the tourists with its awe-inspiring beauty!Located near the Line of Control (LoC) in North Kashmir’s Kupwara district, the Bangus valley has been thrown open for the visitors. Infamous for the cross-border infiltration, the Bangus valley has witnessed fierce gunfights between the militants and security forces in the past. Dozens of militants were killed in these encounters.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Fast-forward to 2016, the Bangus valley is now witnessing a steady stream of visitors to bask in the breathtaking beauty of nature. For the first time, schools in Kashmir have chosen Bungus valley for excursion which has given a boost to the place which was once a favourite infiltration route of militants.Situated at an altitude of 10,000 feet, Bangus is a lineal bowl comprising around 100 lush green meadows which are surrounded by the lofty mountains in the Rajwara area of border district of Kupwara, 125 kilometres north of Srinagar. Gushing streams, exotic flora and fauna and the rich wildlife makes the tourist spot more distinct and attractive for the nature loving tourists.”Indian army has lifted the restrictions and people in good numbers are now visiting the Bungus valley. The army is also vacating a small camp which was located in Bangus,” Mohammad Asadullah Rather, chief executive officer of Lolab-Bangus-Drangyari Tourism Development Authority, told dna.Jammu and Kashmir government has devised a Rs 8 crore project to develop Bangus as a niche tourist destination. Helipad, trekking paths, eco-friendly accommodation are all planned to increase the tourist footfalls in this virgin valley.”We have submitted a proposal of Rs 8 crore to the government. We are awaiting the clearance from the forest department so that this project could take off. We plan to construct even a helipad in this area (for tourists),” said Rather.The government has also decided to involve local nomads to create eco-friendly accommodation for the tourists. “We have decided to talk to the nomads and convince them to construct a room and a bathroom in their hutments for tourists. We will give them money so that they could do the modifications and make accommodation available for the tourists,” said Rather.Indian too has chipped in to help in restoring the confidence among the visitors. “There is no restriction on the movement of people in Bangus Valley. People are free to enjoy the scenic beauty of Bangus,” said Colonel NN Joshi defence spokesperson at Srinagar.
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