Baramulla’s famous Gulnar Park emerging as favourite tourist destination

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Around 13,000 people visit the park on four days of Eid; 22,000 in June’

Waris Fayaz

 A famous park in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district is emerging as a favourite destination for tourists as well as locals, with officials saying the number of visitors is increasing with each passing day.

Gulnar Park, situated in Baramulla town, some 55 kilometres away from the capital city of Srinagar, is known for its enchanting landscapes and is nestled amid the lush green and towering mountains. It has emerged as a captivating tourist destination, enchanting visitors with its natural beauty and serene ambiance.

Talking to the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), District Floriculture Officer, Baramulla, Tariq Ahmed, said the park witnessed a record break number of visitors including locals and those from other states of India. He added that foreigners also marked their presence for the first time.

The park witnessed around 22,000 visitors in June last month, with 13,000 in the last four days that marked the Eid-ul-Adha festivities, he said.

The tourists from Hongkong visited the place and it has been for the first time that a foreigner visited here, Tariq said, adding, “The tourists were in Gulmarg and after searching on Google, they found the ‘best park’ in Baramulla and came here.”

In-charge Gardening Wing, Parveez Ahmad, told KNO that it has been only 1.5 years since the Floriculture Department took over the charges of the park. Earlier, it was managed by Jammu & Kashmir Bank.

As of now, around 400 varieties including Elbeza, Tulip Trees, Abailaya, Meatal, Buttle Brush, Cherry Lawns, Vegeria, Speria, and Standard Rose are intact in the garden to attract visitors, he said.

“We have only eight employees here including two ticket vendors. It is very difficult for us to manage everything; there is a dearth of field staff,” Parveez said.

An employee at the park, wishing not to be named, said, “We have to even look for the sanitation of the park, which is on 60 kanals of land. Earlier, it used to be 35 employees when the park was under Jammu & Kashmir Bank, but now only 8 people manage it. This is injustice.”

Similarly, Fayaz Ahmed Mir, who looks after the park said, “People have been visiting the place and the footfall is increasing with each passing day. So far, most of the visitors are local; however, a few foreign tourists also visited the place.”

He urged the visitors to cooperate in maintaining the pristine beauty of Gulnar Park. “Some visitors dispose of polythene bags improperly, which not only defaces the park but also poses a significant threat to the environment,” he said, adding, “To preserve the serenity and natural splendor of the park, the visitors must refrain from throwing polythene bags or any other non-biodegradable waste within the park premises.”

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