The Tourist Complex at Athwatoo has been thrown open for public soon after its completion in Bandipora and has witnessed a huge rush.
Soon after its completion by Wullar Mansbal Development Authority at the cost of Rs 4 crore, the complex was thrown open for public without any official function owing to the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) in place.
An official in Bandipora said that the district administration was keen to complete the construction of this complex as there was a demand for having an accommodation for tourists in the most visited tourist spot in Bandipora.
About 12 Kilo-meters from the district headquarters, Athwatoo village is tucked between two mountains with lush green forests while the Madhumati stream flows through the heart of it. The hamlet has been the favorite place for adventure tourists as thousands of people including locals visit the place in summers. Before 90’s the hamlet was thronged by the foreign tourists who would stay in the village for fishing as the trout fish is found in abundance in the fresh waters of Madhumati.
Owing to limited accommodating present in the areas the tourist preferred to return to Bandipora or Srinagar in the evening. However with the addition of accommodation at the spot, the village is expected to witness more rush of tourists.
Officials said due to lack of accommodation tourists earlier preferred to visit the place during the day only and now more tourists will prefer to stay in lush green forests of Athwatoo and enjoy the natural beauty. He said the infrastructure available shall give a flip to the local economy and will help to uplift the socio-economic status of the people living in these areas. Officials said the complex was built with the sole aim of giving impetus to the tourism potential of Athwatoo as the village has remained the tourist attraction since long. He said more projects are in pipeline that will give tourism a boost in Bandipora.
The tourist complex on the banks of Madhumati consists of 10 room building with attached washrooms, dining hall, two rain shelters, cafeteria, two jetties, and a lawn spread across more than 2 Kanals of land.
Deputy Commissioner Bandipora Shahbaz Ahmed Mirza recently chaired a meeting of officers wherein he directed the officers of Tourism department to highlight the Tourist spots of Bandipora so that more tourists are attracted to Bandipora. Mirza said that the administration contemplates to make a tourist corridor in the district with specific weekend packages so that once a tourist comes to Bandipora, she/he visits all the places of attraction including the Wullar, Gurez, Athwatoo and other places. He said government is also keen to promote adventure tourism in the district.
Meanwhile the locals hailed the District Administration for opening the tourist complex for public and hoped that this season more tourists will visit Athwatoo.