SRINAGAR — While famed tourist destinations in Kashmir, including Gulmarg and Pahalgam, are yearning for precipitation, Hirpora on the Mughal road is experiencing a thin blanket of snow, drawing hundreds of eager onlookers.

The Mughal road, an 84-kilometer stretch connecting Shopian in Kashmir with Poonch and Rajouri in Jammu, typically remains closed for a substantial portion of the winter due to heavy snowfall and the risk of high-danger avalanches. However, a prolonged dry spell this winter has kept the road open, creating a unique opportunity for tourists to explore Hirpora, currently adorned in a pristine layer of snow.

Locals from South Kashmir, who usually contend with inaccessible tourist spots like Dobjan and Peer Ki Gali during winter, are now flocking to the Mughal road to witness the rare phenomenon of snowfall. Speaking with The Kashmir Pulse, Ishfaq Ahmad Bhat, a local restaurant owner from Shopian, expressed the novelty of the situation, saying, “It feels like we are tourists too.”

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The lack of snowfall in premier tourist destinations like Gulmarg and Pahalgam has left residents and visitors alike disappointed, making the snow-covered landscapes of Mughal road all the more enticing. The region is attracting attention as a feasible day trip, with Hirpora easily accessible and just half an hour’s drive from Shopian town.

Altaf Ahmad, a local, emphasized the convenience, stating, “It is a feasible day trip.” The journey to Hirpora along the Mughal road offers breathtaking views, with mountains adorned by tall pine trees, providing a picturesque winter landscape.

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Established in 2015, the Shopian-Dubjan-Peer Ki Gali Development Authority aims to enhance the region’s tourism potential. With the snowfall this winter, Hirpora and the Mughal road have become unexpected attractions, offering a unique experience for both locals and tourists eager to witness the beauty of Kashmir’s winter wonderland.

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