Hundreds of tourists head for Patnitop

Patnitop: Hundreds of tourists today thronged Patnitop and Nathatop to enjoy the season’s first snowfall.While Patnitop has so far received half a foot of snowfall in the last 48 hours, at Nathatop it is about one and a half feet. Enthusiastic tourists, especially youth, reached Patnitop to enjoy the snowfall.“On Friday, we had to return from Udhampur. But today we managed to reach here after the highway was cleared,” said Pankaj Gupta of Jammu who had come with his friends and family. “We enjoyed a lot. It was a dream come true for us,” he added. Hundreds of tourists from Katra and Jammu also reached Patnitop. Most of them planned to stay here.“We got married last month, we were waiting for the snowfall. Today we have come here along with other couples and enjoying snowfall. We will stay at Nathatop for two days and are hopeful that the highway will be opened so that we can reach the Kashmir valley soon,” said Vishab Gupta and his wife, who had come from Chandigarh.The owners of hotels, guest houses and lodges at Kud, Patnitop and Batote are very happy as after many months of dry season, they are hopeful of good days ahead. “Tourists from Chandigarh, New Delhi and other parts of northern India have already got their bookings confirmed online and our hotels are almost packed,” said Koushal Sharma, president, Hotel Association, Patnitop.“We have got confirmed bookings from the Jammu railway station till Patnitop during the winter and are expecting a very heavy rush of tourists,” said Ravi Kalsi, president, Taxi Operators’ Union.  TNS