SRINAGAR, SEPTEMBER 25: Director Tourism Kashmir Tasaduq Jeelani today flagged off a Pune based cyclist Vivek Lokur at Tourist Reception Centre (TRC)Srinagar for 4000 km Kashmir to Kanyakumari for an ultra-cycling expedition.
Lokur from Maharashtra decided to start his cycling expedition from Srinagar to spread a message about Kashmir being a safe place for the travellers.
On the first day, Lokur will paddle around 150 kilometres and the rest of the days he would be paddling over 300 km a day to complete his 12-day expedition. During his expedition, he would be travelling through eight states.
After the flag off Director Tourism Kashmir said the cyclist would act as an ambassador of the Kashmir’s tourism after he rides across many states.
“We welcome such sports enthusiasts here and we will provide them with every assistance so as to facilitate their expeditions,” said Tasaduq.
He said Kashmir is known for adventure sports activities and many travellers are visiting Kashmir for mountain biking and other adventure activities.
Giving background about the expedition, the athlete said he decided to choose Kashmir as his starting point to spread a message that Kashmir was completely safe to visit and for any kind of activity.
“I have been planning this cycling expedition for a very long time and starting it from Kashmir was also in my mind as this place is unique, beautiful and it would set a right mood for the long journey,” he said.
Lokur said after spending few days in Kashmir, he realized how Kashmir is portrayed negatively.
“Whatever certain section of media portrays about Kashmir is totally untrue. I have found this place safer than any part of the country and the Valley is most beautiful not only in India but in the world,” he said.
Lokur said people should come themselves and see how hospitable people are here.
“I have found people here are eager to meet you and spend quality time with you and make you feel home which I didn’t find anywhere in the world. The service provider treats a traveller as a valued guest,” he said.
Lokur has earlier paddled 1500 kilometers in United Kingdom for his cycling expedition.
Deputy Directors Masarat Hashim and Riyaz Shah were also present at the flag off ceremony.