Snowfall in Kashmir valley brings in hordes of visitors seeking break from pandemic gloom – travel

Tourists are making a beeline to Kashmir. The well-known twin resorts of Gulmarg and Pahalgam are witnessing a heavy inflow of New Year revellers and most accommodations are booked for weeks forward, with the battered trade rejoicing over the return of the “good old days”.

With common operations of worldwide flights suspended as a result of coronavirus pandemic, travellers from throughout the nation have set their sights on the Kashmir valley which appears to be higher positioned relating to coping with the unfold of the virus.

The union territory has been witnessing a median of new 250-300 instances per day – a lot lesser than different states in the nation.

The latest heavy snowfall in the upper reaches of Jammu and Kashmir can also be an attracting issue because the well-known ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir is internet hosting round 700-800 visitors, together with locals, day by day.

Amidst the snow-capped mountains, white-carpet meadows and eye-catching icicles, the resort provides a variety of winter actions like snowboarding that are an added benefit to the enjoyment of experiencing snow.

The vacationer resort at an altitude of 8,000 ft, 50 km north of the summer season capital Srinagar, has just about been offered out with most of the accommodations registering cent per cent bookings for in regards to the first two weeks of January – some even for the entire month.

Often described because the ‘heartland of winter sports in India’, Gulmarg will play host to a quantity of actions in the times forward a lot to the delight of vacation makers – a quantity of whom are already tenting in one of greatest ski-locations of the world — braving sub-zero temperatures.

The Tourism Department goes an additional mile to make the start of the New Year a memorable one for the visitors and has lined up a quantity of actions.

“We have a number of programmes planned for New Year eve. We will have a musical evening which will be followed by a firecracker show to welcome the New Year. There will also be night skiing – torch skiing,” Assistant Director Tourism, Gulmarg, Javed-ur-Rehman informed PTI.

He stated seven sporting occasions may also be held on the following day.

The official stated the ski-resort was filled with vacationers and the accommodations had been offered out for the primary two weeks of January.

While 8,41,202 home and international vacationers visited the Kashmir valley in 2018, the numbers went all the way down to 4,99,584 in 2019.

The Tourism Department didn’t reveal this 12 months’s figures, saying they had been being compiled.

However, sources stated whereas no vacationer visited the valley in April, May and June 2020 as a result of of the lockdown, the arrivals began in the month of July and step by step picked up in September.

The arrivals picked up tempo in November and December with over a thousand vacationers arriving day by day for the previous couple of days.

The inflow of vacationers has introduced cheer to the 1000’s of Kashmiris related to the tourism sector. The sector has reeled beneath twin lockdowns for over a 12 months now – first in the aftermath of the revocation of Article 370 after which as a result of pandemic.

“The arrival of tourists is a good sign and bodes well for Kashmir. We are hopeful of having a good season if all goes well,” Asif Burza, a hotelier who has properties in Srinagar, Pahalgam and Gulmarg with some having a tie-up with ITC Hotels, informed PTI right here.

His accommodations in the dual resorts are absolutely packed for the New Year’s eve.

Burza stated Kashmir is a most well-liked vacation spot for vacationers and because the union territory has been in a position to comprise the virus unfold relatively efficiently than different states, the vacationers are taking a look at no different place.

“It is after a long, long time that we have business like this on the New Year’s eve. We have film-makers coming here in good numbers for shooting movies or web-series. It looks like the good-old-days of tourism are back,” he stated.

The hotelier stated tourism has a drive-multiplier impact and good arrivals impact the general scenario and financial system in the Kashmir valley.

“Tourists not only help the tourism sector, but other sectors as well. The business here gets fillip, it helps local produce and arts and crafts to grow. Tourism also promotes people to people contact,” Burza stated.

(This story has been printed from a wire company feed with out modifications to the textual content.)

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Arsenal lifts gloom with 3-1 win against Chelsea in EPL – football

Arsenal lastly lifted the gloom surrounding the membership and beat Chelsea 3-1 on Saturday, with a robust efficiency from youthful gamers, because the Gunners gained their first Premier League match in practically two months.

A calmly taken penalty from Alexandre Lacazette, a sensational free kick from Granit Xhaka and a weird objective from Bukayo Saka gave Arsenal all three factors at Emirates Stadium.

But it was a nervy end for the hosts as Chelsea bought a comfort objective from Tammy Abraham in the eighty fifth minute after initially being flagged for offside. The guests had been then awarded a penalty a couple of minutes later, however Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno saved Jorginho’s shot in damage time.

Arsenal supervisor Mikel Arteta stated he might really feel the vitality on the workforce bus earlier than the match.

“I said to them we have to take this opportunity now,” he stated. “It’s a really important win for us.

“We needed the points for sure and we did it against one of the best teams in the league in a convincing way.”

Arsenal moved to 14th place with 17 factors after the workforce’s worst begin to a season in a long time.

“Yeah, it’s a start, isn’t it? We needed that today,” left again Kieran Tierney stated. “We’ve had a few bad results this season. But we started on the front foot today.”

The victory at Emirates Stadium, which was empty due to coronavirus restrictions, eased strain on Arteta.

“Relieved and proud of the players for the performance they put it,” Arteta stated when requested how he felt. “And to give something back to the fans who I can imagine have been very disappointed.”

It was Arsenal’s first league win since Nov. 1 against Manchester United. And the Gunners did it with a mix of senior gamers and youth, who confirmed verve and creativity going ahead.

Arteta picked younger gamers to begin, together with Emile Smith Rowe, Gabriel Martinelli and Saka, and the workforce shined all through the match.

“It was a really good mixture of senior players and young players that we have. I think they were really, really good,” Arteta stated.

Part of Arsenal’s workforce choice was pressured upon the supervisor with central defender Gabriel having to self-isolate for 3 matches as a result of he was in shut contact with somebody who examined optimistic for COVID-19. Two different Brazilians, David Luiz and Willian, had been absent as a result of they had been feeling unwell. And Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was among the many substitutes as he recovers from a proper calf damage.

Prior to the victory against Chelsea, Arsenal was winless in its final seven league matches with 5 defeats and two attracts.

Chelsea, alternatively, didn’t appear to show up for almost all of the match, regardless that the membership might have quickly moved as much as second in the league with a win. The Blues dropped right down to seventh with 25 factors.

“The first half was certainly our worst performance of the season,” Chelsea supervisor Frank Lampard stated. “I’m concerned about what’s at the bottom of it, but I’m not sure if it’s complacency.”

Arsenal began brightly and inside 40 seconds, Martinelli was unmarked in the penalty space however scuffed his shot. It was an indication of issues to return.

As halftime approached, Tierney ran previous Reece James in the penalty space and went over. Television replays confirmed that James clipped the again of Tierney’s left foot, with the Arsenal defender showing to go to floor simply.

“I felt contact and I went down but I haven’t seen it back,” Tierney stated.

But VAR confirmed that it was a foul, and Lacazette stepped up, ran as much as the ball, stopped for a second after which despatched goalkeeper Edouard Mendy the incorrect method in the thirty fourth.

Lacazette, who’s Arsenal’s prime scorer in all competitions this season with six, celebrated by wiping his forehead in reduction and grinning from ear to ear.

Just earlier than halftime, Saka was chopped down by N’Golo Kante for a free kick. Xhaka, simply again from a 3-match ban for violent conduct, hovered over the ball earlier than sending a shocking, curling free kick over the Chelsea wall with his left foot and into the highest nook in the forty fourth.

Chelsea tried to realize a foothold firstly of the second half after making a double substitution, nevertheless it was brief-lived.

Saka discovered his method down the proper and solely he’ll know whether or not he meant it as a shot or a cross. But the ball confused Mendy and sailed over his head to bang in off the within of the put up in the 56th.

When requested if he meant it as a shot, Saka merely stated with a smile: “Of course man.”

Chelsea confirmed spirit on the finish, nevertheless it was too little, too late. Lampard stated his gamers weren’t working and sprinting sufficient for giant durations of the match.

“Not a good enough first half, a better second half but it was too late by that point,” he stated. “It was certainly a lethargic approach in the first half.”

And the penalty miss from Jorginho energized the Arsenal defenders for the 5 minutes of damage time to see out the match.

“It would have been a longer five minutes if that penalty went in,” Tierney stated.

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Fun for fun’s sake: Artist seeks to lift gloom with London installation – art and culture

Artist Amy Broch’s playful art installation within the coronary heart of London goals to create a “joy bomb” as an antidote to powerful occasions.

In a floor ground window at a pop-up installation reverse the well-known Claridge’s lodge, the brightly colored exhibit has caught the eye of locals, passers-by and those that work close by.

Two individuals sporting furry animal masks stand within the window amid pink and blue toys and balloons and wave and gesticulate at passers by. Any interplay adheres to social distancing guidelines as Britain offers with a surge in coronavirus instances.

Broch, 38, who misplaced her husband to ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) in May, wished to create “fun for fun’s sake” in a time of uncertainty amid the pandemic and private trauma.

“This is my joy bomb, it’s my gift to London after this tumultuous year so far. I have also had a very tumultuous year, I recently became a widow. So corona (virus) was almost the highlight of my year, not the low point,” she mentioned.

(This story has been printed from a wire company feed with out modifications to the textual content.)

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