Gulmarg (Jammu and Kashmir) , Feb. 4 : Popular for its scenic beauty and chilly weather, Kashmir has traditionally attracted large number of tourists and is known for its mighty hills, tall trees, and exotic valleys.
During the winter season, as snow covers the valley, winter sports take centre stage. A fifteen day Snow Carnival has been organised in Gulmarg by the Tourism Department of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) with the aim of attracting more tourists to the state. The festival was inaugurated by Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti.
As a part of the festival, Ice Hockey related events have been scheduled with the aim to provide exposure to local players and to attract foreign players.
"This is a good exposure for youngsters and international coaches will help us learn the game. This matters when we apply for selection in the national team. Foreign coaches are better as they play more and have a better understanding of the game," said Shahid Malik, a local player.
"Ninety percent of the Indian national Ice Hockey team consists of people from Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh and Gulmarg is the most feasible Ice Hockey ground in India," said Muhammad Amin, Ice Hockey coach J&K.
Promoting Ice Hockey will bring more tourists to India and will make Gulmarg an international Ice Hockey hub in India, added Amin.