A 22-year-old girl Shabnam Bashir Gojer Chechi is on a mission to explore uncharted meadows and mountains in Bandipora.
A tourism student, she has spent her own money to help put remote meadows on the tourism map.
Quoting Shabnam as saying by news agency—KNO, that her love for exploring meadows and mountains began during a family trip to Gulmarg when she was a teenager. “Her father told her that there were even more beautiful meadows and valleys near their home in Bandipora,” she said, adding that it was when she decided to become a nomad and explore every inch of these lush green valleys.
According to Shabnam, she has spent five years hiking through the mountains, collecting information on the hidden gems of her region, and writing about them in her debut book ‘Unexplored Kashmir’.
In her book, Shabnam described many remote places, such as Nachni, Dumgali, Nagmarg, Lashkoot, Banzuri, Kendra, and Danna Bandipora, that even local residents were not aware of. With only a twig from a pine tree and a piece of paper, she set off on her expeditions without any modern equipment.
Shabnam is passionate about promoting tourism in remote areas and has recently organised a tribal festival in partnership with the district administration of Bandipora.
She encouraged her community to participate in the festival and promoted the benefits of tourism to them. She also said that she has also worked with the “Kashmir Off Road” travel group to encourage eco-tourism, home-stays, and sustainable tourism practices in the area.