Iconic week Festival at Mansar was formally declared open by Juhi Manhas Pathania, Vice Chairperson, DDC Udhampur in the presence of CEO SMDA, line officers of civil and police Administration, local PRIs in the lush green lawns of the floriculture park on the banks of Mansar Lake.An enthralling ‘Jugal bandhi’ of Ghazals, song competitions, Dogra cuisine stalls, live performances by local and Bollywood performers and a boating fest, besides a beautiful cultural evening giving a lively description of Dogri, Pahari, Punjabi and Gojri culture as well as local folk lores was presented amid a thundering applause by the people.The atmosphere was further charged by songs composed and recited by Rinku Mansar wala, Sonali Dogra, Suraj Dogra, Sushmita Banerjee, Rakesh Malhotra and others. The illumination of both the lakes also gave a heart rending look and an exquisite aura to the enthralled audience.While speaking on the occasion, Juhi Manhas Pathania expressed her gratitude towards the department of tourism, SMDA and the District Administration for promoting the ancient Mansar Lake, which has religious, historical aesthetic significance not only in J&K but across the country.
She further said that the civilization which settled on the banks of Mansar and Surinsar was called Dogras. The word Dogra is a union of two Sanskrit words ‘Dui’ (two) ‘Grata’ (big pits). She further called for developing and nurturing a dedicated tourist circuit on the Dhar road while preserving, promoting and imparting state of art facilities at shrines and picturesque spots on Dhar road axis at Basohli, Bani, Billawar, Majalta, Panchari, Udhampur.She called for promoting pilgrimage tourism in all- popular shrines, may it be the all popular temples of Sri Pingla Mata, Sri Chountra Mata and Sri Marada Mata, Sukrala Mata and Balasundri Mata, Sri Narsingh Ji temples at Ramnagar, Majalta, Aap shambhu temples of Dalsar and Khoon, Vasuki Naag temples at Dudu Basantgarh and Kote. May it be popular Sudh Mahadev temple, temples of Krimchi, Bavour & Sankari.She said that this region has exquisite climate, beautiful topography which qualifies for nurturing it as a modal tourist destination while enroute to Shri Vaishno Mata Temple and Kashmir lakh of local devotees visit these religious spots every year. Terming it as a viable circuit connotes that people coming from across the state are able to relish best out of these facilities while en route their way to Srinagar.She called for macadamization of roads with a view to affording proper transport facilities to the visitors. She further stressed upon the department of tourism to move a step ahead and to channelize the tourism development and promotion in the area which shall not only enhance the tourist activity but also give employment avenues to the local people too.