For years, Pooja Verma, a doctor from Maharashtra has been travelling solo to many countries.
However, she couldn’t make a visit to Kashmir, which was in her bucket list for long, due to the negative publicity related to the valley.
Earlier, this year when she heard that Kashmir received record breaking tourists, she also made a plan for a trip to the valley.
“I visited Kashmir in March this year and the trip was an eye opener for me. I realized that people here were very generous and this place was safer compared to the rest of the states,” Pooja told news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO).
In August she again visited the valley but this time solo, to explore the offbeat places in Kashmir.
“Last time I could visit some of the main tourist spots. This time I went all alone and explored Gurez, Karnah and other places. It was a fun-filled trio for me,” she said.
Like Pooja scores of solo travelers are visiting the valley, which for the last two years has been recording a huge growth in the number of arrivals.
From students to professionals and explorers, Kashmir is providing a safer destination for solo travelers across the world.
A report has revealed that Jammu and Kashmir is one of the most sought destinations for solo traveling.
A research by travel fintech `SanKash’ has revealed that almost “35 percent” of solo travellers prefer Jammu and Kashmir for vacationing.
Kashmir is followed by Manali (25 percent) and Shimla (14 percent).
Umar Ahmad, a travel agent, told Kashmir News Observer that Kashmir has received a good number of solo travellers for the last two years.
“Solo trips are a new trend among GenZ. They like exploring places by either booking a trip or simply hitchhiking. We have witnessed that many explorers visited Kashmir on bikes or bicycles to explore the valley. Kashmir is a safe place and has many to offer for backpackers,” she said.
He said some of the most popular destinations booked by solo travellers include Bangus Valley, Doodhpathri, Gurez, and Sinthan Top. “I have received many tourists who booked their solo trip to Kashmir. They get a budget package with affordable stay and food here,” Ahmad said