Article 370 has been scrapped and Jammu & Kashmir is separated from Leh- Ladakh now. Both the regions hold the status of separate union territories as of August 5th, 2019. The situations are tensed in J&K as the government has sent in troops into the region, however, things are peaceful in Leh Ladakh.
So, while the political tensions surge in the region people are wondering if they should ditch their travel plans to Kashmir for the year. And if not, how long will they have to wait before it is safe to travel to Kashmir again.
Let us look at what article 370 really is and is traveling to Kashmir after Article 370 in 2019 safe?
What Is Article 370?
For seven decades, J&K has enjoyed being an autonomous state. This means that all the provisions of the Constitution which are applicable to other states are not applicable to J&K. Except for defense, foreign affairs, finance, and communications, Parliament needed the state government’s concurrence for applying other laws. After scraping off Article 370, it is no more be an autonomous state.
In simpler terms, Jammu & Kashmir is no longer a state. After the repeal of Article 370, J&K and Ladakh have been announced as two separate Union Territories. While J&K will be the one with the legislature, Ladakh will be without. J&K will get to elect its own Chief Minister while Ladakh will be run by a Lieutenant Governor.
Tourism In Kashmir After Article 370 Scrapped
Scraping off Article 370 will open up real estate opportunities in the region. This means more luxury hotels and resorts in the region. There are only limited 5-star properties in the beautiful valley of Kashmir. A day after the news, Maharashtra State Government already announced to open MTDC resorts in Kashmir and Ladakh. Hopefully, it will also open up a new market for people trying to get into the travel business in the Kashmir valley.
Is It Safe To Travel To Kashmir After Article 370 Scrapped?
The situation is a bit tense, most tourists have canceled their travel plans as airlines have waived the fee on all cancellations and rescheduling of tickets. Currently, Kashmir is off-limits because of frequent shutdowns and prolonged curfew hours. Tourists footfall has increased in other areas like Himachal, Kerala, and even foreign destinations like Thailand for the time being.
Things should get back to normal in the latter part of the year in Kashmir valley. Afterall where else would travelers go to when in search of the epitome of natural beauty? The tourists will come flocking around the scenic mountains and expansive green valleys of Kashmir again as one can’t restrain from. So, smart travelers are planning ahead to spend winters in J& K when it is the peak season. The month of October during the time of Durga Puja is peak season in Kashmir and the valley looks absolutely breathtaking, making a visit there worth it.
Is Leh-Ladakh Safe To Travel After Article 370 Got Scrapped?
Going by the news, unlike in Kashmir, the situation in Leh-Ladakh seems to be as usual. So, if you have already planned a trip, you can go ahead. The flights on Vistara, IndiGo, GoAir, and Air India are on schedule. There is internet connectivity and everything is running smoothly. Ladakh is a peaceful Buddhist region that remains largely unaffected by the tensions in Kashmir valley. If you are planning a road trip to Ladakh via Srinagar, it is advised you choose a different route or mode of transport altogether. Even the travel agents are skipping tours to Srinagar at the moment.
Suggested Read: My Delhi To Leh Trip With Friends: 5 Days Of Thrill & Adventure
Quick Tips Before Travelling To Kashmir After Article 370
Here are a few tips you should keep in mind if you are already in the region. Pass along to your friends who are already there.
- Avoid going to crowded areas and the main markets.
- Buy advance tickets online.
- Choose to stay in houseboats.
- Try to avoid getting into arguments with the local shop vendors.
- Don’t take directions directly from a stranger.
- Always travel in the company of a tour guide or a trusted local.
There is no unnecessary cause of panic. If you have already planned a trip to Kashmir, you should put your vacation on hold for the time being till things are better and peaceful in the region again. You could plan your vacation to other counterparts like Himachal or Kerala which are no less in beauty than Kashmir. We only hope that the latest development in the region is the harbinger of much-needed peace and prosperity in the region. The question of ‘Is it safe to travel to Kashmir?’ is eradicated for once and for good. After all, nobody should be kept away from such a heavenly place on earth like Kashmir.