In a bid to tap into the natural wonders of the region and attract more tourists, the government of Himachal Pradesh is focusing on the development of artificial lakes as vibrant tourist destinations. With an abundance of lakes and reservoirs fed by glaciers, the state aims to capitalize on its natural resources and promote lake tourism as a major attraction.

The Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, highlighted the government’s intention to create and explore additional resources beyond traditional destinations. The plan involves opening up natural lakes, reservoirs, and treks to visitors, alongside the development of artificial reservoirs that will offer a wide range of adventure activities, including water sports, angling, bird watching, and eco-tourism. The government is currently formulating rules and regulations to govern these activities, aiming to extend tourists’ stays and provide them with unforgettable experiences.

By promoting lake tourism, the government aims to empower the local community and create self-employment opportunities. The plan includes the establishment of homestays, street food corners, restaurants, resorts, and hotels in close proximity to these artificial water bodies. This approach will not only enhance the visitor experience but also boost the local economy.

Himachal Pradesh plans to focus on water-based attractions such as houseboats, cruises, and yachts, as well as introduce water sports activities in its reservoirs. Key locations for these activities include Pong Dam in Kangra, Kol Dam, Bhakra Reservoir in Bilaspur, Larji Reservoir in Kullu, Tattapaani near Shimla, and Chamera Dam in Chamba. To complement these attractions, art and craft centers, shopping arcades, and food streets will be established, providing a well-rounded experience for tourists, along with basic amenities.

Taking concrete steps towards the development of artificial lakes, the Kangra district administration has been tasked with identifying suitable sites along perennial river routes. Furthermore, a 5.75-hectare plot of land in Nagrota has been earmarked for the construction of a wellness center and an artificial lake featuring world-class fountains. To boost adventure tourism activities, the state government has allocated Rs. 70 crore for the development of the Pong Dam in Kangra district, attracting adventure sports enthusiasts from across the country.

The government’s overarching goal is to significantly increase tourist footfall in the state, with a target of attracting five crore visitors over the next four to five years. This ambitious plan will not only generate employment and self-employment opportunities for the youth but also strengthen the state’s economy.

With its picturesque landscapes and the potential of its lakes and reservoirs, Himachal Pradesh is set to become a premier destination for lake tourism. Tourists from both domestic and international locations can look forward to a diverse range of activities, stunning natural beauty, and the warm hospitality of the local community. Himachal Pradesh is ready to welcome the world to its breathtaking lakes and create a truly memorable experience for all who visit.

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.