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Journey to Bhaderwah: Beauty in the wilderness of Doda

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By: Sadaket Ali  Malik

Beyond the Kanthi Dhar a natural wonder which lies in Changa block in Doda are Ganthak Meadows.It is more than just a pretty place as it has rich history. People from Bhalessa used this route to reach Bhaderwah for their everyday needs. Now, the meadows, with their lush green beauty, are treasures waiting to be discovered for tourism.

These meadows hold stories of old times when folks from Bhalessa took on the rocky journey to Bhaderwah by foot. It wasn’t just a walk; it was a journey for survival, livelihood, a connection to their roots, and a nod to the strength of the locals. Grazing animals and working in agricultural fields is practised and for survival the people used this route to reach Bhaderwah or Doda to manage food for themselves owing to the scarcity of the means of transportation.

Today, the meadow is like a painting with its lush green surroundings. It is a serene and beautiful place, perfect for tourists. But the real potential of this area is yet to be fully explored and tapped.

Even though Meadows has all the makings of a tourist spot, it’s still a bit of a secret. The mix of history and nature here is like a dream for those wanting a taste of both. To unlock this dream, we need to make it easy for people to get here and make sure their visit is unforgettable.

The journey to Bhaderwah was more than a commute; it was a way for cultures to meet. The stories left behind by the locals tell us tales of days gone by. Keeping these stories alive could make the tourism experience here truly special.

For these Meadows to become a tourist spot, we need to make it accessible. Good inner approach roads and facilities will help.

The place emerges as a hub, drawing frequent visits from travelers eager to traverse its scenic landscapes. Positioned strategically as a pedestrian route, it acts as a vital connection between Bhalessa in Doda and the town of Bhaderwah.

The significance of this valley of Bhalessa extends beyond its physical dimensions, embodying a journey that resembles with the footsteps of both locals and wanderers. The beauty lies not only in the destination but in the path itself, inviting those who seek to explore the cultural and natural wonders along the historic route of this place. This place, with its well-trodden trails and historical importance redefine a close connection between cultures and the experiences waiting to discover for every traveler who ventures along its pedestrian thoroughfare.

The meadow predominantly attracts visitors from the Pahari ethnic Kashmiri community residing in nearby villages such as Changa, Bisran, Gorekhra, kilhotran, Gandoh. The attraction of these locals speaks to the cultural and geographical ties that bind them to this enchanting destination. The proximity of these villages not only facilitates frequent visits but also fosters a sense of belonging, as the Pahari ethnic Kashmiri people find solace and connection amidst the natural beauty and historical ethos that the place offers. It becomes a cherished space where traditions are shared, stories told, and the bonds of community strengthen against the backdrop of this picturesque valley.

The meadows present a breathtaking view adorned with awe-inspiring mountains and lush coniferous forests. Nature’s creation takes center stage in this landscape, where meadows seamlessly blend with the towering majesty of the mountains. The air is filled with the scent of coniferous trees, creating a serene and congenial atmosphere. Its series of meadows, cradled between the peaks and thick forests, provide an opportunity for those seeking solace in the embrace of untouched natural beauty. The awe-inspiring mountains and the tranquillity of forests paint a picture of these meadows as a haven for nature lovers and a canvas where the elements of earth converge in harmonious splendour.

To make the Meadows a success, the people living around it need to be part of the journey. They know the place better than anyone and can help keep things real. Getting them involved means everyone wins.

There’s so much to do at Meadows. For those who love trekking, the historical route is a must. Nature lovers will be in heaven with the greenery and wildlife. And why not have cultural events to showcase the uniqueness of Bhalessa?

This place is where history meets potential. It could be the poster child for sustainable tourism, keeping the past alive while inviting nature lovers to explore. As we unlock the door to its tourism potential, let’s promise to keep the beauty and stories of Meadows safe. It’s not just a spot on the map; it’s a journey back in time, inviting all who come here to be a part of something special.

The Tourism Department holds the key to unlocking the full potential and there’s a pressing need for them to officially recognize and identify this place. Developing well-maintained internal approach roads is crucial to make it accessible to a wider audience.

Moreover, envisioning and organizing a Ganthak Festival could showcase the place, attract visitors and spotlight the cultural and natural richness of the area. This strategic move not only promotes tourism but also puts place on the map as a vibrant destination worth exploring. The combination of improved infrastructure and a dedicated Tourism festival could bring Ganthak into the spotlight, ensuring that its potential is appreciated by a broader audience across Jammu and Kashmir.

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