As many as 48 bike enthusiasts from different parts of the country Wednesday embarked on a motorcycle rally, organised by authorities here as part of their effort to promote tourism in Jammu and Kashmir's Chenab Valley.
The rally was flagged off by Tourism Officer Zaheer-ud-din Naik from TRC Dandi.
After traversing through several markets of the town and rural locations of Bhadarwah via famous Chattar Galla pass in Doda district, the participants, including three women bikers, will leave for Kishtwar district where they will enter the Paddar Valley via Gulab Garh on Thursday.
"The Chenab Valley has a lot of potentials, especially for adventure tourism, and this rally was planned to highlight the virgin spots to attract potential tourists and promote tourism in this region in a big way," Naik said.
He said the Tourism Department is trying to make Bhadarwah a hub of adventure tourism.
"I have been a biker since long but this is the best ever ride of my life. They (Tourism Department) have given us this wonderful opportunity to explore the Bhadarwah valley," 27-year-old Preeti Choudhary of the Biker Brotherhood Motorcycle Club told PTI.
Praising the beauty of the region, she said people should visit the place at least once in his or her lifetime.
"We are having a wonderful experience and every biker will love to explore this kind of locale. This place is heaven for riders and I think every adventure lover should come to this part as well," she said.
Parul Jasrotia, a local 25-year-old biker from Travel Days India, said it was heartwarming to see the participation of bikers, especially the women.
"This will go a long way to build a positive image of our state and will surely attract tourists, especially adventure enthusiasts, as this part of the state is a safe haven," Jasrotia said.
The bikers reached Bhadarwah town on Tuesday night after starting from Jammu, officials at the Tourism Department said, adding that the rally will culminate at Patnitop in Udhampur district on November 2.
Chief Executive Officer of the Bhadarwah Development Authority Rajinder Kumar Khajuria said the town with its picturesque surroundings, high altitude meadows and snow filled glaciers has of late become a major tourist attraction.
"Every day hundreds of visitors, including domestic and foreign tourists, visit Bhadarwah," he said, adding that more than 5.6 lakh tourists, including pilgrims, have visited Bhadarwah since May this year.
(With inputs from agencies.)