Bhubaneswar,March 04 (LocalWire) Holidaying in Kashmir has always been in every Indian’s vacation itinerary but what with suicide bombers and terror attacks, the state is slowly losing its tourist inflow.
Still, there are some ardent holidaymakers, who venture there only days after the recent Pulwama attack and return to tell their stories.
An Odia tourist Snehasis Dash says how heartbroken his family was when their trip to Vaishno Devi was hanging in tenterhooks after the Pulwama attack.
Other than their flight bookings to Delhi, all other bookings were cancelled by the concerned people in Jammu.
Since the family were hellbent on going for the darshan, they ignored the cancellations and headed towards Jammu.
Once they reached Jammu, they couldn’t get hold of transport and after a lot of searching when they found a private taxi, it charged them three-fold the amount. The rate that the family was supposed to pay earlier was Rs 15000 but now they had to shell out an exorbitant Rs 42000.
‘On our way to Jammu via NH44, we saw immobile trucks lined up because Jammu was under curfew and the entry to the city had been sealed by the armed police. All the entrances to the city had been closed with barbed fences and there was continuous patrolling by armed vans.
There were several families like ours that were stuck in the roadblock and to pass through the police one had to convince the security. As my father works in the bank, we were lucky to avail a room in the bank
holiday home. The roads were empty barring some places where one could see billowing smoke rising from burning tires.
Usual life stood suspended due to the curfew and the usually packed holiday home looked like a haunted house and faced staff shortage. In fact, the staff who were present during the day sneaked out at midnight to go home.