As tourism in the Kashmir valley surges to unprecedented heights this year, the government has introduced a novel experience for both locals and tourists. As per the latest news reports, the Indian Railways has inaugurated an all-weather glass-ceiling AC train known as the Vistadome Coach in the valley, which will offer visitors a unique opportunity to witness Kashmir’s stunning landscapes through its glass-paneled coaches.
The Vistadome will traverse a 90 km route from Banihal in South Kashmir to Budgam in central Kashmir, offering passengers double-wide reclining seats that can rotate 360 degrees, granting them a panoramic view of Kashmir’s breathtaking terrain.
Inaugurating the Vistadome coach in the Kashmir valley, J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha elaborated its state-of-the-art features, including entertainment amenities and modern seating. He anticipated that local travelers and tourists alike would relish the opportunity to experience the valley’s natural beauty up close, as the Vistadome offers 360-degree views through its expansive glass windows.
The government reported a significant upswing in foreign tourist arrivals following the G-20 working group meeting held in the valley, with numbers increasing by a remarkable 350 percent.
Last year, the region witnessed 18.8 million tourist arrivals, and this year, up until September 30, 17 million tourists have explored J&K. Officials expect this figure to exceed 22.5 million in 2023.
The Vistadome boasts of glass ceilings, luggage racks, automatic sliding doors, LED displays, and a GPS-enabled information system. In preparation for the harsh winters, Indian Railways has equipped the coaches with air conditioning, ensuring year-round operation. The public eagerly anticipates the transformation of the valley into a snow-covered wonderland, resembling Switzerland.
The Vistadome promises an entirely fresh experience for visitors, enabling them to witness mountain ranges, apple orchards, paddy fields, saffron fields, and, most notably, the snow-clad valley. Former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir and Member of Parliament, Farooq Abdullah, commended this progressive step while being one of the first to embark on a Vistadome journey from Srinagar.
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