The curb in militancy brought by Indian Army and valley’s steady progress towards normalcy has paved way for numerous avenues in Kashmir. One such avenue which has not been tapped to its hilt is adventure sports. Adventure sports has humongous scope in the valley and it’s going to be thing to watch out in the near future. Lakhs of tourists are thronging to “Switzerland of East” to enjoy the surreal experience of adventure sports. Kashmir valley due to its sheer vastness, infectious beauty and diversity has perhaps become the most sought after adventure destination which provides a lifetime experience to its visitors. Today, the valley has become synonyms of adventure. It houses the potential to satisfy every kind of tourist. It offers mountain peaks, fast flowing rivers, trekking routes, snow clad mountains, mesmerizing alpine lakes which provide adventure lovers to experience thrill and excitement. The valley offers all kinds of adventure activities which you can aspire to undergo ranging from kayaking, golf, aero sports, fishing, mountaineering, trekking, river rafting, paragliding and skiing.  Situated at an average elevation of 1,850m/6,070Ft, it is home to famous peaks like Kolhoi (5,425m), Mount Harmukh (5,142m), Tatakooti Peak (4,725m), Sunset (highest peak in the Pir Panjal range) and a number of small peaks in Sonamarg and Pahalgam for mountaineering enthusiasts. It offers adventure sports lover with wonderful opportunity to explore the vast terrains of the exotic Himalayan mountain ranges.            The valley has one of the best trekking routes for the trekkers as it gives them chance to explore the beautiful meadows of Gulmarg, Sonamarg and Pahalgam. It is one of the toughest trekking routes of the country which generates challenges, excitement and fear at the same time. The valley has become home of adventure lovers. On 14 Nov 21, District Youth Services and Sports officer flagged off a group of 189 trekkers from different educational institution in the presence of Chief Educational Officers in Shopian for trekking to Pahalgam. Initiatives have also come from government and non-government organisations, as they are organising trek for youth of Kashmir to promote adventure sports as well as imbibe the spirit of adventure amongst them. Namratha Nandish Also known as “Alpine girl” from Bangalore has visited 50 lakes of the valley over span of four months. The trekking routes which are frequented by Adventure aficionado in the valley are Gangabal trek, Tarsar Marsar trek, Ghans Galli,Pahalgam Wadwan trek, Chutrigul –Mahalish Trek etc. Known to few, the valley is also a paradise for golfers because of its temperature as it suits the game and helps an individual play longer than usual. It has been one of the prime attractions since Captain John Hill, a British Officer, started a Golf course in Pahlgam in 1902. Playing in lush green grounds surrounded with beautiful chinar and pine trees in the shades of mountain is rejuvenation in itself. Recently, a three day golf tournament and golf tourism summit was organised by the federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in collaboration with J&K Tourism department and Chhattisgarh Tourism Board to attract domestic and international golfing enthusiasts to play golf in the paradise.Kashmir valley’s snow-capped mountains are one of the key attractions of the country and known for the best skiing slopes in the Asia. The Himalayas provide enormous opportunities to the skiing adventure sports enthusiast owing to their great heights which creates long descents. It is the two British Officers who introduced skiing at Gulmarg in 1927 during their vacation and since then Gulmarg has become one of the highest ski resorts in the world (4,200m) only after china (4,843m). Skiing in Gulmarg is popular across the world and also boasts as only hill resort in the country and first in Asia. Apart from skiing, the region is also known for Snow Boarding and Ice Skating during winters in the snow bed zones of the valley. Indian institute of skiing and mountaineering are providing the necessary technical training, equipment, trainers and also conduct various vocational courses for skiing.  Apart from offering adventurers with wonderful opportunity to explore the vast terrains of exotic Himalayan mountain range, the unique landscape also encourages in finding ones inherent sporting calibre. Boasting different variety of fish species, this paradise on earth is a joy for Sports Fisheries. The valley is one the premier fishing destination in the world. Angling/Fishing has always been a thing of excitement amongst adventurers. Spending time in soothing sun while fishing gives an everlasting experience. Since the valley has large streams of almost hundred miles and a huge number of high altitude snow fed lakes full of brown and rainbow trout, it has become great attraction for adventure tourism and has huge potential to boost the economy of this Union Territory. During spring and summer fishing is a huge business for the locals. It is one of the fastest growing sectors of tourism industry and requires strategic development of infrastructure to support sports fisheries tourism.Though the valley is witnessing lakhs of tourists for adventure sports, its potential has not been fully exploited. Lack of adequate infrastructure, expertise in adventure sports sector, safety and security issues have been amongst the roadblocks which have precluded the full-fledged development of adventure sports tourism in the valley. Even though the government has made a lot of policy and infrastructural announcements regarding the tourism policy, a well-planned policy which caters for visitor’s satisfaction along with sustainable use of resources is need of the hour. Some suggestions which will help in growth of adventure sports are summarised as under:- Effective marketing strategy and advertisements through various Medias like TV, radio, films, tourist maps, posters, slide etc. highlighting the experience of tourist and safety standards of respective adventure sports will go a long way in reaching out to larger domestic as well as global audience.In the adventure sports, skilled professional play an important role due to threat associated to life, not having skilled professional is hindrance for growth of such sports. State government should take initiative to produce skilled professionals’ at large scale which can meet to emerging demands and promotes safety.Advisories should be issued to use only state of art and reliable equipment only. No compromise on safety aspects of adventurers during tour to be ensured and regularly monitored through government agencies.Connectivity is vital to attract adventure tourists as good connectivity will lead to repetitive flow of tourists. Government policy should focus on reducing the barrier between adventurers and destination.Sports tourism has potential to bolster the economy of UT and will generate huge employment opportunities. Both Central and UT government are required to work in tandem with great vigour to tap the potential of adventure sports in valley.It will give different dimension to the tourism sector of the valley and will help in traversing enormous potential of untapped destinations which was mostly about scenic beauty and its snow clad valleys.

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