The Kashmir valley is very famous for its scenic beauty as it has been bestowed by the Almighty Allah with beautiful and fascinating water bodies, snow clad mountains, Lush green forests and meadows, green valleys, pleasant and invigorating climate that is why kashmir valley has been called ‘paradise on the earth” all over the globe. This paradise on the earth has been laced with rich natural resources and gifted with the most attractive visiting and tourist sites like famous Gulmarg, pahalgam, Sonamarg, kokernag , Verinag Nishat garden, shalimar garden , Harwan garden, Tosamaidan, Doodpathri etc .The Tosamaidan is the most beautiful place compared to others in terms of area, scenery, despite eagerly waiting for government attention and developments . Tosamaidan is the biggest meadow in Kashmir located at a distance of 60 km away from Srinagar and nestled in the Pir Panjal Mountains of district Budgam between two beautiful meadows of Gulmarg and Dodhpathri from its north and south sides. Tosamaidan is about 5 Km in length and more than 2.5 Km in breadth at the elevation of 3150 Mts. Tosamaidan serene meadow is a place of pleasure and solace to visitors. It is blessed with innumerable beauties of nature that make it an unmatched and unparalleled tourist destination. It is treasure of velvet like green meadows, lush green forests, snow clad mountains, alpine green pastures, perennial and crystal clear rivers, shimmering lakes, hissing springs, giant glaciers, rich wildlife, mountainous gorges, carpet green turfs, cool breeze, and invigorating and salubrious climate that refresh hearts and minds of visitors. the beauty and charming nature of Tosamaidan is such that whosoever visits Tosamaidan feels not less than the heaven and it deserves the very beautiful accolades like being called the ‘Paradise on earth”, ‘The Switzerland of Asia” etc. It is rich in flora and fauna which adds to its scenery in addition of maintaining ecological balance. It holds great importance as it has rich source of medicinal as well ornamental plants that provide livelihood to thousands of people associated directly or indirectly. Tosamaidan has a great pottential for adventure activities like trekking, mountaineering, zip-line, Zorb ball, alpine skiing, ski touring, ski mountaineering, ski-paragliding, paragliding, mountain running, mountain biking, ATV’S etc due to its conducive climate and topography.It has a large area and its green pastures are limitless where shepherds of many villages of district Budgam take their sheep for grazing during summer season. The green pastures of tosamaidan flanked with white sheep of shepherds also present a very beautiful look that are heart,mind and eye catching.Tosamaidan and its adjoining areas are sources of many perennial water bodies like Nalah Sukh-Nagh, Doodganga Nalah, Suresh Kulh and Googaldara Nalah which provide water to District Budgam, Pattan, Tanghmargh and also to some parts of Srinagar city, where it is used for irrigation and drinking purposes.These Water bodies with its blue-green roaring cold water flowing through Tosamaidan and adjoining areas are ideal for the trout and carp fishing and rafting. the fragrance of beautiful wild flowers on vast land of tosamaidan refreshes whole pastures, meadows and environment of the tosamaidan. Tosamaidan craves for an attention of the concerned authorties.Having the highest number of trekking routes, green pastures, meadows and vast area of land as compared to other tourist destinations in J&K, Tossamaidan receives very low visitors due to various reasons. First and foremost reason is that Tosamaidan has not yet been brought on tourist map of Jammu and Kashmir, Lack of macdamised roads, markets, lack of transport facility, lack of hotels, restaurants, guest houses, electricity, drinking water and other facilities etc.
Tosamaidan if to be brought on the tourist map by the government of Jammu and kashmir and all facilities be developed there keeping in view the fragile environment and ecotourism destination, honestly speaking, it will become one of the best and first class ecotourism destination all over the world. Development activities like markets, hotels, restaurants, guest houses, and other facilities in Tosamaidan should be developed in such a way that will not deteriorate the natural environment and fragile ecology of the tosamaidan. Eco-friendly markets and infrastructures will retain the virginity and sustainable development of the Tosamaidan. Plastic items, polythene bags and other non biodegradable items should be banned and local organic foods in biodegradable items should be encouraged and promoted in Tosamaidan for making it the most beautiful eco tourism destination in india. Bringing Tosamaidan on tourist map and development of all kinds of infrastructure and basic facilities including electricity, water supply and mobile communication system for the convenience of the visitors
by the government will promote tourism sector in kashmir valley and contribute very well to the state economy. It will open flood gates of employment opportunities for unemployed educated youth of the valley and reduce rising unemployment in the valley.The foreign and domestic tourist inflow to kashmir will increase, Hoteliers, guides, pony wallas, transporters, shopkeepers, vendors etc will get better profits and due to its fascinating and suitable backgrounds and scenery, the Boolywood film makers will use it most common and forget to visit foreign countries like Switzerland. The need of the hour is development and promotion of Tosamaidan on war footing basis. Let’s hope that government of Jammu and kashmir will bring Tosamaidan on tourist map and develop all infrastructure facilities required for its promotion and development as Ecotourism
( The author is a teacher at Boys Higher Secondary School Beerwah. Views are his own)